‘Bloemfontein will have an ice rink’

Skate enthusiasts are encouraged to support the dream of bringing an ice rink to Bloemfontein. PHOTO: Sourced

“It’s been a very interesting journey. There’s been many highs and many lows and a lot of almost wanting to give up. But I’m determined that one way or another, Bloemfontein will have an ice rink.” This is according to Chillzone Ice Arena’s Dave Draper.

Draper previously told Bloemfontein Courant that the rink was definitely still on the cards for the city and was set to open in December last year. Since then, there have been a few challenges along the way that has further delayed the opening of the rink at the Windmill Centre.

In an interview with the publication, Draper said challenges such as gathering the funds and equipment for the rink have been the cause for the delay. “So we started, we obviously got excited, we got things ready, we were ready to open. “Then we had a couple of hiccups along the way with the equipment. The equipment that we were getting was an old portable ice rink. Although it was available, it still needed to be serviced and there were other issues with that. “While that was happening, I was chatting to various people with regards to investments for it. We had a few delays, we’d hoped for the August, September holidays. That was then delayed. We had everything in place for opening in December,” said Draper.

He added at that stage, he had the funding in place, but then the owners of the equipment decided to do something else over the September holidays and the Easter holidays. “I went back to all my investors to get the money together, but one of my biggest investors said we can only get the money at the end of the year. And that’s when I went back to a number of people to try and raise the last R180 000 that was required,” he explained. This is when Draper decided to try out crowdfunding. “I feel it’s a lot safer for both the people that want to invest their money and at the same time get rewarded for investing.”

The campaign on crowdfunding offers a range of rewards that caters to both skaters and non-skaters. These rewards include coffee vouchers, free entrance, skater membership, birthday party vouchers and much more. “With your support, we aim to open the doors of the ice rink by the end of June 2023. Bloemfontein deserves a top-notch entertainment venue that will bring joy, laughter, and excitement to individuals of all ages,” said Draper.

Justine Fortuin