Community: Save Berkeley Iceland

This is not political, but it is personal. The ice skating rink in South Berkeley is at risk of closing. At the risk of seeming a bit off-topic for the blog, I’d like to remind you all of the dearth of opportunities for social and athletic pursuits which exist for both children and adults in our community(-ies).

(one of our ‘lil hockey players)

Case in point, Tom Ratliff, Board Member for the Berkeley YMCA attended the most recent meeting of the non-profit group, which is now meeting weekly to discuss structural and fund raising issues. Tom indicated that the demographics the rink serves with its public skating, ice hockey and figure skating programs are irreplaceable in our area of the Bay Area. I can attest to this, as I have been coaching ice hockey in this facility for ~18 years and have received feedback from countless families and former players.

The lessons learned in this environment are what I’ve heard referred to as CO-CURRICULAR. These are complimentary to the traditional educational experience. Coaching to me has more to do with teaching life lessons than teaching a 10-year old how to skate faster, make his/her slapshot faster or the latest strategies in the game. Hockey, like figure skating is merely a vehicle, a conduit for expanding one’s mind and providing an opportunity for exercise as well.

Berkeley Iceland is my rink. I learned to skate there as a little boy and now I’m hoping to find others who feel it is a worthwhile candidate for their attention and participation in this time of need.

Berkeley Iceland is the current home of the Cal Ice Hockey team, the Berkeley Bulldogs Youth Hockey program, the St. Moritz Ice Skating Club and former training facility for both Brian Boitano and Kristi Yamaguchi. Previous teams who have practice and/or played at our rink are the USA Men’s Olympic Ice Hockey team, the Japanese Olympic Ice Hockey team and the California Golden Seals (NHL).


5 Responses to Community: Save Berkeley Iceland

  1. tekstone says:

    hey! malcontent came out of the woodwork!

  2. A.Citizen says:

    What happened to my comment? No, not this one. The other one.

    Seriously, I will be talking with you mal so see what I might do to help. Unlike some who are more intent on making ‘humorous’ asides.

  3. Brian Gray says:

    This is a serious problem, losing safe places where our kids can learn and grow in a group concept is serious. We do more than just teach the sport of hockey at Berkeely. Losing such a historical land mark to due to local goverment slow downs is an outright shame. Do yourself a favour and check out the Iceland on Friday night and see the joy the rink brings to all the community. Remember a healthy body is a healthy mind.

  4. malcontent says:

    I agree, Brian. This is a serious problem. Community centers like this are truly irreplaceable, which means we have to fight for them, when there is a risk we may lose one. The non-profit organization that’s working on saving this resource is open to any and all good ideas from all segments of the skating and non-skating community. We’ve gotten good feedback from all who have heard about this effort. Consider yourself invited to join in and help.

    Check out

  5. Paul Barral says:

    I hate to see this place go, i played learned to skate right at that rink and i played hockey there for 8 years. This place holds so many memories for me and its just a shame its gone.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: