New roller hockey rink for Eastbourne?

Eastbourne Edge
Eastbourne Edge

A graduate has set himself the mammoth task of bringing a brand new roller hockey rink to Eastbourne in just a few months.

Bradley Wallis, who recently finished a four-year engineering masters, is trying to turn the hall at My Skate World on Maple Road into a new rink for Eastbourne Edge Skate Hockey and other clubs.

But with only few months to go before the 22-year-old begins a graduate job in London, there is little time to raise the £8,600 needed to get the project underway.

Bradley said, “Whilst at university in Southampton, I have witnessed an amazing transformation in the quality of hockey being played, and the number of teams and players in the area as a result of the construction of the Solent Arena. Having the Solent Arena just down the road whilst I have been at university has benefited me immeasurably.

“I would love more than anything to be able to play the quality and intensity of hockey I have been exposed to at Solent Arena, in my home town.”

The project has already got the approval of My Skate World owner Colin Dowding as well as several teams which play in the area.

If completed, the project would see new protective boards and professional hockey goals added to the skate centre’s current grounds.

The new facilities are expected to cost £8,620 to install and would act as a new centre for roller hockey games in the area.

The club is now looking for local businesses who can help them raise the cash they need to begin building the rink.

Bradley said, “I’m not really a morning person but I’ve been getting up each morning for the last few months to work on this project. But its not really work when it is a passion.

“I probably won’t be able to train in this rink for a long time. I don’t really mind though as that is not the point. It’s for the club and to improve the sport.”

In recent years the club has travelled to play in Swanley and Bisley near Woking after losing its previous training grounds.

But the two hour journey to these rinks has made it hard to attract new talent to the team.

Geoff Brown, club secretary of Eastbourne Edge Skate Hockey Club, is excited at the prospect of a new rink.

“It will make it easier for parents to get to, as it is a big commitment to go to Swanley and Bisley.”

“Even if the rink hasn’t arrived by the time he goes what he has been able to do already is really mobilise the conversation as well as find three or four people willing to put in the work.”

As well as funding for the new rink, the club is also looking for help or materials to build two sets of changing rooms to host league games.

The club also hopes to find a plumber to volunteer their help fitting showers in the venue.

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