Skaters enjoy the spectacular backdrop of the Royal Pavilion in Brighton last night as the rink opened this week for Christmas ***Pic by David McHugh / Brighton Pictures 07768 721637***

Christmas ice skating for wheelchair users

The Royal Pavilion Ice Rink has opened six sessions on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day to enable wheelchair users to book in advance to skate over the Christmas period alongside skaters of all abilities.

Said Shella Parkin, director of Laine Ltd which creates and manages the winter ice rink, “We are grateful for recent feedback from a number of local families who felt excluded by our policy not to take advance bookings for wheelchair users during the peak days of the Christmas holidays and we want to make the ice even more accessible to all this festive season.”

“Although our broader policy will remain in place for the safety of all our skaters, we have decided to cap our numbers on several sessions to enable wheelchair users to book in advance and skate safely over the Christmas period.”

The dates are: Boxing Day (26th December 2016) – 10am session, 8pm session and 9.15pm session, and New Year’s Day (1st January 2017) – 6.45pm session, 8pm session and 9.15pm session.

Throughout the season, The Royal Pavilion Ice Rink policy enables users of all abilities to show up on the day and skate as long as sessions are sufficiently quiet. However, as the rink is much busier over the school holidays, the period from 10th December to January 2nd is necessarily designated as ‘peak’ period. Because of the high number of skaters, wheelchair users have been unable to book sessions in advance during this period.

Continued Shella Parkin, “The Royal Pavilion Ice Rink has a duty of care to all of its customers.  As ice skating carries inherent risks our policy regarding wheelchair users has been created to ensure that, as far as possible, they can access the rink without increased risk to themselves or anyone else on the ice. We therefore ask wheelchair users to skate at quieter times, when the ice is less busy and they have the opportunity to skate with their friends and family, as opposed to designating wheelchair-only sessions, which would preclude this.

“However, we hope that capping numbers on these sessions to allow wheelchair users to pre-book will help make the ice more accessible to all and we look forward to welcoming everyone who wants to enjoy skating this Christmas!”

Book tickets here