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Toowoomba Skate City closes doors for final time

Toowoomba Skate City closes doors for final time
March 4, 2018

After almost 40 years of operations a Toowoomba roller skating rink has closed its doors.

Skate City ceased operations earlier this week at the close of its lease with its building having been sold for redevelopment.

Built in the 1970s, when it operated as Skatehaven, the facility has offered a place for Toowoomba residents to enjoy skating, learn to skate and enjoy a themed night each month.

Kendall Berwick’s family has operated the business as Skate City since 2001.

She told the ABC that facility had the look and feel of many rinks around the country, explaining “the same company built a lot of these.

"We were one of the very few left, and now we're going as well."

Berwick said roller skating had been more popular in the 1980s and 90s, advising “the skating rink was a safe place for kids to go where parents knew they were safe.

"They got exercise and they weren't getting sunburnt, and it's something a lot of families have commented to me they're going to miss.

"A lot of people are doing different things with their time now. You can see it with (amusement) arcades closing too.

"It also comes down to land value. The skating rink is big and land in Toowoomba is booming. The land is worth so much more than skaters."

Despite purpose-built skating rinks becoming rarer, Danae Clark from Skate Australia said roller skating still had a future.

Clark explained "it's very sad to see many traditional skating venues close, and we are truly saddened for the Toowoomba skating community that their rink is closing.

"But people will still skate. Many skating clubs now operate from recreation centres, and we're now seeing people who loved skating as kids in the 80s introduce their children to skating."

Clarke said there were a number of exciting developments in the sport that would hopefully result in it becoming more popular, adding “roller derby is immensely popular these days, and speed skating will feature at the Youth Olympic Games.

"Skating might not be as big as it was in the 80s and early 90s, but it's very much alive."

24th November 2014 - SKATE AUSTRALIA CARVES A DIGITAL PATHWAY WITH REVOLUTIONISESPORT 

27th June 2013 - EMERALD ROLLER GIRLS GET GOING

13th April 2013 - GET IN THE GAME FUNDING TRIPLED TO $47 MILLION

10th March 2012 - BRISBANE SKATE CARTEL PUSHES FOR BETTER SKATE PARKS 

7th October 2010 - ROLLER DERBY MAKES A COMEBACK


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