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Skating rink shuts its doors

When Mike Keogh opened the Blades Rola Rama skating rink last year he envisioned a place where youngsters could go to enjoy themselves.

However, the rink was forced to close its doors the last weekend of July.

“The sad truth is that there were simply not enough skaters coming through our doors,” Keogh says. “Sure, during the holidays we were always busy, but after that it was very quiet during weekdays. Regretfully, for this reason we had to close down, because the rent was very high. We did approach the owners about possibly reducing the rent and seeing us as part of their community service, but they didn’t respond to us.”

Initially, Keogh wanted to create an attraction for teenage Helderbergers because he felt there weren’t enough activities to keep the youth occupied over weekends and holidays.

“Now that we have closed our doors there really is only a limited selection of things for them to do,” he says. “I feel so sad. All the joy and enlightenment we experienced through the laughter and screams of little children and youngsters enjoying themselves will be missed.”

Keogh says the rink, situated on the second level of The Pines near Somerset Mall, was popular for birthday parties, and children loved the thrill of being able to skate to their heart’s content.

He hopes some “wealthy philanthropist will recognise this opportunity and open another rink.”

However, Keogh adds he will not pursue this specific endeavour again any time soon.

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