BRADFORD Ice Rink have restarted their speed skating club, which became defunct in the 1980s, and want to get a member to a British final by 2018 – and after that to the Winter Olympics.

About 20 skaters attended the relaunch and more were on the sidelines watching as the rink found another way to celebrate its golden anniversary, which was reached in January.

Organiser Malcolm Harrison said: "The idea came about during our 50th-year party in January, when it became obvious that there was a desire by the rink management and the people there on the evening about the possibility of restarting the club.

"The trouble was that we now live in a different world to when the club was going in the 1970s and 1980s and we had to obtain coaching qualifications, have DBS checks carried out and complete child-protection and first-aid courses.

"But probably the most difficult thing was obtaining the barrier crash pads, which would have cost us a minimum of £2,000 if we had bought them.

"However, with the help of Northern development manager Keith Wright and Scottish development manager Archie Marshall, we located a set of mats at Dumfries Ice Arena.

"After some kind words, we now have those mats stored at the rink in Bradford, so thanks to both gentlemen. Also, Keith has lent us some speed skates that will enable new speed skaters to get a feel for what the sport is all about.

"We still want to purchase some spare sets, though, as the whole ethos of the new club is to not exclude anybody through their financial restraints, so if any business want to help, please contact the club.

"We have already received a major boost by a donation from a great friend of the ice rink, John Khan, who is known to a lot of rink regulars."

Harrison added: "We had over 20 skaters on the ice at our first training session, plus quite a few more watching.

"Speed skating, which is fast and exciting, is an Olympic sport and racers go head to head over distances varying from 500 to 3,000 metres, with tracks varying in laps from 110 to 111 metres, with the latter the international standard.

"The sport also caters for all age groups, from the youngest to the oldest, and can also be used as a means to keep fit."

Training at Bradford Ice Rink is on Mondays (7.30-8.30pm, with members on the ice by 7.45pm and grouped by similar abilities.

If any individuals or businesses can help with sponsorship, they should contact Harrison on 07999-477642 or via