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Watch as new roller rink opens in Sunderland's Keel Square for school summer holidays

Get your skates on and head for Keel Square.

By Kevin Clark
Friday, 22nd July 2022, 2:18 pm

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An ice-skating rink has been a main fixture of Sunderland’s Christmas celebrations for years – but now the city’s Business Improvement District (Bid) is extending the fun to the summer with a roller rink that will operate throughout the school holidays.

As part of a programme of entertainment created by the Bid and Sunderland City Council, the rink will offer day-to-day skating sessions as well as themed events every week.

Members of the Sunderland Roller Derby League team visited to check it out ahead of this morning’s opening.

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Bid chief executive Sharon Appleby reckons it will be a hit: “We know how much people love the ice rink every Christmas time so we are sure this will be something that people of all ages will enjoy,” she said.

“As well as just turning up for regular skating, we’ve put together lots of different themed sessions, which will just add an extra fun element to the experience.

“It’s an activity that all the family can enjoy, which is why we’ve created a programme which we believe caters for everyone.”

From tomorrow – and on every Saturday until September 3 – there will be a live DJ from 7pm to 8pm, including Frankie and the Heartstrings’ Frankie Francis bringing back the popular Cool For Cats set on July 30.

Members of the Sunderland roller derby team check out the rink

July 24 will offer the first opportunity to skate to summer anthem music from 7pm to 8pm, with the same session being run every Sunday evening while the rink is in place.

And occupying the same time slot on Friday, July 29; Saturday, August 5, and Friday, August 12, there will skating to the sounds of the 70s, 80s and 90s on each respective evening.

Children can enjoy time on the rink while in the company of some of their favourite cartoon characters.

Monday, July 25, will see a session with dinosaurs, while Marvel heroes and villains will line up the following day. Both sessions run from 11am until noon.

The rink will be open from 11am to 8pm daily

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Children’s characters will also be out in force on Tuesday, August, 2; Tuesday, August 9; Monday, August 15; Tuesday, August 16; Tuesday, August 23; Monday,

August 29, and Tuesday, August 30, when those skating can enjoy the company of everyone from princesses to fairies.

Also likely to be a firm favourite is the morning slot on Monday, August 22, when favourite Disney characters will be out and about.

Entry includes all equipment hire

Fans of show tunes can skate to the very best of the West End on August 1 and 8 for an hour from 11am and organisers have also made sure that those who have sensory issues or special educational needs are well catered for, with quiet sessions from 11am until noon on every Thursday from July 28.

The rink will be open daily from 11am to 8pm and tickets cost £10 for adults, £8 for five to 17-year-olds, £4 for those aged four and under and £28 for a family ticket.

Prices include the hire of roller boots, kneepads and helmets. No advance booking is necessary.

There are also a number of options available for anyone interested in a private party at the rink.

To enquire about group bookings and advertising packages contact [email protected]

Further information/updated details on all the sessions can be found at www.sunderlandbid.co.uk

Sunderland BID's Sharon Appleby
The rink is open to all ages