Media Interview

Latest News & Updates

From sharing the results of our last competition to stories featuring our work and volunteering in the community, here you’ll find all the latest posts and publications featuring ACT Ice Sports Federation (Inc) in the media. Take a moment to explore the articles below and be sure to get in touch and stay in the loop to never miss an update.

 

ACT budget backs sport infrastructure

February 8, 2021

CANBERRA.--  ACT Ice Sports Federation (ACTISF) has welcomed the ACT Government's announcement its 2020-21 Budget would also include funding for planning and design works for ongoing sport infrastructure Territory-wide.


ACTISF president Tony Prescott said he was encouraged by sports minister Yvette Berry's recent affirmation Chief Minister Andrew Barr's Budget included an ongoing commitment to the community, in turn supporting the highest rates of participation in sport across the country.


"We in the ice sports want to contribute towards keeping the ACT’s sport participation rates as the nation’s gold standard – and only through modern facilities can we achieve this," Prescott said. "We remain excited by, and engaged in the ongoing process towards a new twin-sheet ice sports facility in Tuggeranong."


The government has committed to:

  • a new permanent home for dragon boating at Grevillea Park on Lake Burley Griffin;

  • a new tennis centre in Amaroo; and

  • improvements for the Phillip District Enclosed Oval, including a new pavilion, upgraded grandstand and lights and additional parking. 


Prescott said the federation remains supportive of all of the ACT’s sporting organisations and clubs whose facilities benefit through generous support from the ACT government.

"Canberra’s sport participation rates are second to none across the country, with the ACT’s ice sports growing at unprecedented levels in recent years," Prescott said. "Ice sports will continue to grow in the ACT, and once our international level facility is completed, we fully expect to be leading the charge nationally in ice sports participation too," he added.


Media interviews/contact: Tony Prescott, President -- ACTISF   M: 0421 463 711

Canberra’s new Olympic-standard ice sports facility is one step closer

September 3, 2020

Canberra’s ice sports community is closer to realising their dream of Olympic-standard facilities with the ACT Government’s announcement of a partner for the proposed Tuggeranong rink, reports Tim Gavel in The Riot Act.

South Australian-based company Cruachan Investments Pty Ltd has been chosen to build and operate the new ice sports facility which will have a spectator capacity of 2000. The ACT Government selected Cruachan following an expression of interest process conducted in 2019.


New ice sports facility for CBR one step closer

September 3, 2020

Chief Minister Andrew Barr & Sport Minister Yvette Berry joint media release


A new twin sheet ice sports facility for Canberra will be built in Tuggeranong following the selection of a proponent to develop a detailed proposal.

The ACT Government previously indicated its preference for any future facility to be located in south Canberra, and the identified site on Rowland Rees Crescent in Greenway will ensure the facility is located near other sporting facilities and is well connected to the Tuggeranong Town Centre and public transport options.

Construction of the ice sports facility in Tuggeranong is another ACT Government supported project that will create more jobs for more Canberrans.


Jobs will be created during the construction phase and in the operation of the new facility.

Thank you to the ice sporting community for their patience throughout this process as the ACT Government works to ensure the best community outcome.

Last year, the ACT Government undertook an expression of interest (EOI) process to seek a suitably qualified and experienced party to design, construct, own, operate and maintain a new ice sports facility in Canberra.

This process identified Cruachan Investments Pty Ltd (Cruachan) as the suitable proponent.


Cruachan’s initial proposal met the requirements set out in the EOI, which specified the delivery of two Olympic-sized ice rinks, associated change rooms and amenities for participants and officials and spectator capacity for 2000.

The Government will now commence a direct negotiation process with Cruachan that will result in a detailed proposal being submitted for consideration.

It is anticipated Cruachan’s detailed proposal will be submitted to the Government in early 2021.

A review of the preferred site in Greenway will also be undertaken to ensure it is suitable for the proposed development.

Minister for Sport and Recreation, Yvette Berry, said “This is an exciting step for Canberra, particularly for the sports but also for the wider community as this will provide a new recreational facility for everyone to enjoy.

“In 2016, the ACT Government made a commitment to look at options for a new ice sports facility. This announcement goes beyond that commitment and brings Canberra a big step closer to the construction of a new facility."

Quotes attributable to Stephen Campbell, Director of Cruachan Investments Pty Ltd:

“We are pleased to be selected as the preferred proponent to design, construct, and operate the ACT ice sports facility.  We look forward to working with the ACT Government and the ACT Ice Sports Federation to create a world class arena that will attract national and international events and provide a new home to improve access and growth in ice sports. The future for ice sports in the ACT is exciting and we’re proud to be a part of it.” Stephen Campbell, Cruachan Investments.


Quotes attributable to Tony Prescott, President of the ACT Ice Sports Federation: 

"Our faith in the process the ACT Government established from the outset has never wavered," said ACT Ice Sports Federation president Tony Prescott, "and in the current circumstances, it speaks volumes that both the investors' and government's confidence in our proposal for a new twin-sheet national ice sports centre has continued to attract significant support.

"New infrastructure for the nation's capital, be it health, education, public transport or sports facilities, is always welcome both for the short-term benefit associated with the construction jobs, as well as the longer-term community participation opportunities and the economic windfalls derived from major events which will feed into the hotel, hospitality, restaurant and tourism sectors."

ABC Adam Shirley interview with Tony Prescott

September 3, 2020

ACTISF president Tony Prescott spoke to ABC666's Adam Shirley about the exciting developments in the new twin-sheet ice sports facility slated for Tuggeranong in southern Canberra. (Interview begins at 1:46:50.)

Progress on ice sports facility a boon for the community

September 3, 2020

CANBERRA.-- The ACT Ice Sports Federation (ACTISF) today welcomed the government's announcement of the substantial progress made on plans for a new twin-sheet ice sports centre to be based in Tuggeranong.


"Our faith in the process the ACT government established from the outset has never wavered," president Tony Prescott said today.


"In the current circumstances, it speaks volumes that both the investors' and government's confidence in our proposal for a new twin-sheet ice sports centre has continued to attract significant support.


"New infrastructure for the nation's capital, be it health, education, public transport or sports facilities, is always welcome, both for the short-term benefit associated with construction jobs, as well as longer-term community participation opportunities and the economic windfalls derived from major events which will feed into the local hotel, hospitality, restaurant and tourism sectors.


"We have always been confident our proposal, which has a strong community-based orientation complemented by a business plan which includes tourism, major events, corporate functions and international competitions, would survive the pressures associated with competing infrastructure priorities.


"What we didn't plan on -- and of course no one else did either -- was COVID-19.


"However the ACT Government and the proponent behind the development recognise the benefits on offer to a community during challenging economic times with a major piece of infrastructure: construction jobs.


"Later, there will be further employment prospects when the facility is fully operational, and expanded family ice sports programs  covering figure skating, ice dancing, ice hockey, broomball, curling, sled-hockey, ice speed skating and of course, general recreational ice skating.


"This is a much-needed investment in community sport as well as an important investment in the Tuggeranong community, and an investment in Canberra to create more jobs, and support for the economy through COVID.


"We have always attracted  bipartisan political support; patrons Vicki Dunne MLA  joining Bec Cody MLA have been strong supporters of  a new facility," Prescott added.


The preferred site in Tuggeranong is an excellent choice already boasting existing facilities such as a hotel/motel, restaurants, bars, cafes, community club, public transport and bus interchange, major roads and most importantly, a growing concentration of families and local residents in the Tuggeranong Valley.


"We echo the government's vision that this project, once completed, will meet the needs of our growing ice sports community, create jobs and economic activity, and provide the community with a great place to cheer on the ice sports across so many disciplines," Prescott said.


"Importantly, the  proponent behind the new twin sheet  ice sports facility – Cruachan Investments – has a vision which matches all of our hopes and aspirations.


"Cruachan is  innovative in its  approach, forward thinking with its  commitment to the community, and most importantly, here for the long haul, and that's a key element for any new sports venture," he added.


Media interviews/contact: Tony Prescott, President -- ACTISF   

M: 0468 596 103


*Note: Cruachan is pronounced: “Crew-Ann”  

Were dreams of a new ice sports facility in Canberra just a melting moment?

August 12, 2020

Tim Gavel writes: In the lead up to the last ACT election in August 2016, Labor staged a media conference on the shores of Lake Tuggeranong and announced plans for a new ice sports facility as part of a pre-election promise. As one of the media representatives on hand for the announcement, I can tell you there was optimism from the Canberra ice sports community. They were confident that after years of campaigning the dream of a new facility would come true.

Canberra marks 40 years since ice hockey debut in the national capital

August 6, 2020

It is 40 years this week since the coolest of sporting pursuits — ice hockey — found a warm welcome in the national capital. On August 4 in 1980, with a rink nearly ready in a $1 million development in Phillip, support for an ACT league peaked in a meeting of 30 ice hockey enthusiasts at the Hughes Community Centre.

ACT's ice sports ready to adapt to COVID19 Stage 2 conditions

May 27, 2020

ACT Ice Sport Federation's Sandi Logan spoke to ABC Radio's Anna Vidot today assuring her the national capital's ice sports participants were ready -- and willing -- to adapt to new conditions of a maximum 20 participants per session once the Phillip Ice Rink completes renovations and resumes normal operations.  "The ice sports are ready to adapt to the ACT Government's Stage 2 #COVID19," Logan said. Listen to Sandi Logan's interview with ABC's Anna Vidot (from 2:41:50 - 2:48:30).

Government opens tender for new ice rink facility in Canberra

September 6, 2019

"The push for a new ice rink in the nation’s capital," reports RiotACT's Lachlan Roberts "has finally got its skates with the ACT Government calling for expressions of interest in developing a multi-million dollar facility. The ACT Government has opened a tender to design, construct, own, operate and maintain a new ice sports facility in Canberra to replace the current ageing Phillip Swimming and Skating Centre." Read more.

New Canberra ice sports facility expressions of interest now open -- minister's announcement

September 5, 2019

Deputy Chief Minister and Sports Minister Yvette Berry today announced the ACT Government is seeking expressions of interest from suitably qualified and experienced parties to design, construct, own, operate and maintain a new ice sports facility in Canberra.


The Expression of Interest (EOI) follows the ACT Ice Sports Facility Options Analysis Report released by the government in late 2018, which explores three options for delivery of a new ice sports facility in the ACT.


The EOI requirements have been developed to facilitate the delivery of a new ice sports facility to meet the needs of the community (including local ice sporting groups) while also considering the ongoing commercial viability of the facility  through a range of uses including competitions, events and recreational use.


Interested parties will need to provide an indicative proposal for a new facility including a high level concept design and address how they would provide a range of essential facility requirements including:

 two individual ice rinks and associated amenities to support local ice sporting groups and recreational use

 appropriate seating, spectator and associated amenities for a competitive ice sport event venue to

support the delivery of local, regional, national and appropriately sized international events.


The ACT Government will consider providing a financial contribution to support the establishment of a new ice sports facility but does not intend to own or be the primary funding source for the development and its ongoing operation.


The expression of interest is available on Tenders ACT at: www.tenders.act.gov.au


The ACT Ice Sports Facility Options Analysis Report, developed in consultation with the ACT Ice Sports Federation, is available on the Sport and Recreation website at: www.sport.act.gov.au/sport-facilities/strategic-projects.   


Quote attributable to Tony Prescott, president of the ACT Ice Sports Federation:

“We welcome today’s announcement. This is as a giant leap forward for the future of ice sports in the ACT, and we will continue to partner with the government and the private sector to realise the ice sports community’s vision of having a major ice sports centre in the nation’s capital.”

Put on your ice skates ... a new ice rink beckons!

September 5, 2019

CANBERRA.-- Today's announcement of the ACT Government's formal call for expressions of interest to build a new twin-sheet national ice sports centre is an historic moment in the long-established national capital's ice sports community.

"We're incredibly excited by this news," ACT Ice Sports Federation president Tony Prescott said today "as we have worked cooperatively alongside the Territory government and the Bureau of Sport and Recreation for four years to bring this dream to fruition.

“It is clear Chief Minister Andrew Barr and deputy Chief Minister and Minister for Sport Yvette Berry recognise the ice sports community desperately needs a new ice rink facility with two pads of ice of Olympic dimensions, and with due recognition of spectator and community needs.

“We especially welcome private sector involvement and endorse a public-private partnership approach to achieve what will be a major piece of leisure and sport entertainment infrastructure in the nation's capital.

"Companies or investors with a vision for exciting events and other live sport entertainment, with an eye on the Territory's projected population growth, and with a strong commitment to community will find this opportunity a rare but highly attractive one given the unique demographics of the Canberra community.

"We are ideally situated in a catchment area covering more than 1.5m people -- from Goulburn to Yass, the south coast of NSW to Cooma, and the ACT/Queanbeyan combined populations -- so a new twin-sheet national ice sports centre will have a great advantage from day one.

"It will inherit an already existing and large local user base, which includes a number of grass roots competitions as well as elite level programs across ice hockey, figure skating and broomball, and with projected growth of more than 10% year on year.

"We envisage the expansion of ice sports in the ACT to include speed skating, curling, and paralympic ice sports such as sled hockey.


“We also want to develop a cutting edge program for empowering vulnerable youth as well as broader schools skating programs for local kids,” Prescott added.


With the expression of interest process open for six weeks, officials from the federation and its member sports -- Ice Hockey ACT, ACT Ice Skating Association, CBR Brave and Broomball ACT -- will be reaching out to their extensive local, national and overseas networks to promote this opportunity, and to tap every option possible.

"This is a great opportunity for the local community as well as the broader Australian ice sports community, and we intend to make the most of it," Prescott said. “We are committed to bringing national and international ice sports events to Canberra in coming years, once the new facility is operational.” 

Further information & interviews: Tony Prescott  M: 0421 463 711

New rink -- all the news that's fit to print about government announcement of EOI

September 5, 2019

Having trouble keeping up with the news today? Here are some useful links across mainstream and social media about the ACT Government's formal launch of the new twin-sheet national ice sports centre expression of interest process. 

CURRENT NEWS

HISTORICAL

Twin-sheet facility -- Expressions of interest open for new ice skating rink

September 5, 2019

"It's been 40 years in the making," reports Canberra Times' David Polkinghorne today "but the ACT Ice Sports Federation hopes its wait will be over within two years. It also hopes a new ice skating complex will help attract world and national championships to Canberra after the ACT government called for expressions of interest on Thursday."

Canberra woman ice hockey player trailblazes her way into legend status

August 17, 2019

CANBERRA.-- Australian ice hockey's first women's national team captain -- Canberra school teacher Stephanie ("Steph") Boxall -- will be formally inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame Australia (HHOFA) Saturday as the AIHL reigning champion Canberra Brave host Newcastle Northstars for their final regular season match.


Boxall, who first laced up the blades as a nine-year-old with the Woden Grizzlies, went on to revolutionise women's ice hockey in Australia at a time when administrators were grappling with multiple challenges: a sudden growth in ice rinks, a surge in juniors, a demand for equality between genders, and a fear of potential litigation should the intense body contact which is an essential element of the sport cause serious injury in mixed-gender competitions.


"How many of us have taken on a sport's ruling fathers at 14 and won," says HHOFA chairman Ross Carpenter, "and how many of us are revered, let alone for trail-blazing a path through barriers reserved only for girls? 


"How many have captained Australia at anything, let alone a game played in an all-male citadel? Who among us has scored six goals in one game? A hat-trick of goals against Great Britain?"


The answers to all those questions are of course Stephanie Boxall, who was born in Canberra in 1973, and was the only girl to represent the ACT in the inaugural President's Cup (U13) in 1983, and again in '84 and '85. 


"Only a handful of girls played state ice hockey back then, and the national association decided the game was too dangerous for us," Steph recalls. "But it wasn't me who was scared."


With her coach's support, she took on the sport's ruling fathers and won, opening the way for her, as well as two girls from Western Australia and Victoria to participate in national championships with the boys, and she has never looked back.


Her induction ceremony at the Brave Cave before the reigning national champions, presided over by ACT Ice Sports Federation (ACTISF) president Tony Prescott, will formalise her name and deeds in the Legends of Australian Ice roll call of champions. The ACTISF is currently working with the ACT government in support of an expression of interest process for a new twin-sheet ice sports centre in the national capital.


At age 25, Steph first captained the Australian national women's ice hockey team as it entered IIHF world championship play for the first time, and aside from the national team's tour of New Zealand in 1998, Steph also captained Australia at two world championship qualifiers in Hungary & Slovenia, and the nation's first two women's world championships in Slovenia and Italy. At the 2003 world championships, she led Australia to the top of the standings and its first women's IIHF gold medal. She scored an average three points a game, and set team records for goals, assists and points (her points record went unbroken for 13 years).


A first child was born, then in 2007, Steph returned to the game as assistant captain of the national team at the world championships in Sheffield, England where Australia won gold. At 37, she won another national women's ice hockey league championship playing with the Melbourne Ice, and in 2011 she was once again assistant captain of the national team at home in Newcastle. 

Steph is a multi-sport champion, having represented Australia at the World Triathlon Championships in Laussane, played cricket for the Weston Creek Cricket Club, and played Australian Rules football, including winning back-to-back premierships. She boundary umpired in the inaugural Women's Australian Football League in 2017, and still plays competitive ice hockey for the Canberra Senators. In 26 international games of ice hockey for Australia, Steph scored 22 goals and 14 assists for an average 1.4 points a game. 

It is said Steph is "the best Australian women's ice hockey athlete of her time" while others argue "she is the best female ice hockey player Australia has ever had".  There is no argument Steph Boxall is a trailblazer of the women's game in Australia, a model player who could out-score a boy and win against men. She is a home-grown symbol for young women who felt marginalised in male-dominated, male-controlled sports that were prejudiced against them. 


Of interest is to note there are 280 players in Canada's Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, of whom only six are women. In 2019, Steph Boxall becomes Australia's first in our very own Hockey Hall of Fame Australia.

Note for media: Steph will be in attendance at the #CBR Brave AIHL game 5:30pm on Saturday (17 August) at Phillip Ice Rink, Canberra. Further information, interviews and requests to Steph Boxall or Tony Prescott on  0421 463 711.

Local school teacher Steph Boxall skates her way into Hall of Fame

August 17, 2019

RiotACT's Lachlan Roberts introduced his readers to Steph Boxall through the eyes of her classroom, writing: 

Hidden away from all the fanfare in a Campbell High School classroom, local school teacher Steph Boxall (née Wheaton) is happy to fly under the radar. After all, it is how she spent her legendary ice hockey career.

But this Saturday (17 August), Boxall will be firmly in the spotlight as she is formally inducted into Australia’s Hockey Hall of Fame in recognition of how she revolutionised women’s ice hockey in Australia.

Legends of Australian Ice's testament to Steph Boxall

August 17, 2019

Legends of Australian Ice's Ross Carpenter takes us behind-the-scenes of a young Stephanie Wheaton (now Boxall) as she took on the "might" that were the powers-that-be in her young ice hockey career. THE YOUNG WOMAN looking back from the Woman's Day magazine did not look to be a fighter...the pink watch band, the matching pink table-tennis-bat earrings, the unseen Wham! posters. But, if she ever owned a Barbie, it probably held a cricket bat or a hockey stick, and this was probably a bad omen for Ken. The table on which she rests her elbows is littered with championship pennants, and a wild array of junior trophies each capped with shiny boys. The smile above the clasped hands on which she rests her chin seems older than her 14 years. The tilt of the eyelids, the laconic body language, welcome the unwary in. "So, you think I play like a girl?"

Steph Boxall will be inducted into the Aussie Ice Hockey Hall of Fame at  Canberra Brave game

August 13, 2019

Canberra Times reporter Nathan James reports on the planned induction ceremony: How many can say they have taken on a sport's ruling fathers and won? Canberra's Stephanie Boxall can.

The women's ice hockey trailblazer will become the first woman inducted in the Australian ice hockey Hall of Fame.

Ice rink tender to go out in coming weeks says government

May 20, 2019

CANBERRA. -- The push for a new ice rink in the capital will soon get its skates on when the ACT Government asks for expressions of interest (EOI) in developing what would be a multi-million dollar facility, reports The Riot Act .

A government spokesperson said the EOI documentation was being developed and would be publicly advertised in the coming weeks. Sports Minister Yvette Berry had said a tender would go out early this year.

The tender would seek interest from suitably qualified and experienced parties to design, construct, operate and maintain a new ice sports facility in the ACT.

The ACT Ice Sports Federation – representing figure skating, ice hockey, including the Canberra Brave, and broomball – has been driving the bid for a two-sheet replacement for the current 38-year-old Phillip rink, which it argues isn’t big enough for world-class competition and the growing fan base.

Chief Minister Andrew Barr promised in 2016 to start building a new ice rink before the 2020 election and an undisclosed amount of money was allocated in the mid-year budget review in February 2019 to support the bid, although the government has made it clear the private sector will have to stump up most of the money.

The spokesperson said the tender would specify that the government will consider providing some financial and/or non-financial contributions to support the establishment of the facility, but the Territory did not intend to directly own or be the primary funding source for a new ice sports facility.

ACT Government puts money aside for new Canberra ice rink

February 19, 2019

Canberra's dreams for a new ice rink could be one step closer to reality, the Canberra Times reports today, with the ACT government setting money aside in the budget to fund a new facility.

Three options for new Canberra ice sports centre

January 10, 2019

The Canberra Weekly (10 Jan, 2019; p12) reports a replacement for Canberra's beloved, albeit outdated, Phillip Ice Skating Centre, is a step closer after the ACT Government released an options paper outlining three possibilities for the future of ice sports in the Territory and surrounding regions. Read more. 

New ice sports facility predicted to generate $2m annually -- Canberra Times

December 21, 2018

The ACT government hopes the prospect of making $2 million per year could attract investors to the new national ice sports centre project, reports the Canberra Times.

Canberra Times touts $35m twin-sheet ice sports facility

December 20, 2018

The ACT government is looking for someone to build a $35m double-storey ice rink in Canberra...one of three options which were presented as part of a report into appropriate options for new ice venues. Read more here.

Christmas comes early for Canberra ice sports!

December 19, 2018

CANBERRA.—The ACT Ice Sports Federation today welcomed the ACT government's release of its options paper outlining the way forward towards a new twin-sheet ice sports facility.


The Ice Sports Facility Options Analysis report -- more than two years in the making -- offers three options: a single-sheet ice rink, and single and double-storey twin-sheet facility options with spectator numbers ranging up to 2000 people, with estimated construction costs between $20M-$35M.
 
"We're very excited having reached this stage of the process," ACT Ice Sports Federation president, Tony Prescott said today. "This announcement of the expression of interest process is a welcome early Christmas present for Canberra’s ice sports community.

"While we still have a way to go, we've made great strides with today's announcement progressing towards a new national ice sports centre here in Canberra.

“One key element of this process has been the government's and the federation's agreement on the importance of private sector involvement in what will be a major piece of leisure and sport entertainment infrastructure in the nation's capital.

"Companies or investors with a vision for exciting events and other live sport entertainment, with an eye on the Territory's projected population growth, and with a strong commitment to community will find this opportunity a rare but highly attractive one given the unique demographics of the Canberra community," Prescott said.

Ideally situated in a catchment area covering more than 1.5m people -- from Goulburn to Yass, the south coast of NSW to Cooma, and the ACT/Queanbeyan combined populations -- a new national ice sports centre will have a great advantage from day one inheriting an already existing and large local user base, which includes a number of grass roots competitions as well as elite level programs.


"There is insufficient ice time for the existing competition across ice hockey, figure skating and broomball, and with projected growth of more than 10% year on year, along with an expansion into speed skating, curling, and paralympic ice sports such as sled hockey, a new twin-sheet ice sports facility is desperately needed to cope with existing demand," Prescott said.


"Chief Minister Andrew Barr announced in August 2016 the ACT government’s commitment to partner with the federation to achieve a new ice sports facility, starting with the government’s funding of an options process; he has kept his word with us all of the way.


“We remain committed to working with potential investors and operators to achieve a new facility and encourage any interested parties who share our vision to come forward and help shape this project,” Prescott said.

ACTISF believes a new national ice sports centre could be operational in 2020 following a timeline which includes community consultation, planning and design.  

"The chief minister said in 2016 that construction of the facility in Canberra’s south would commence within the four year parliamentary term," Prescott said.

“With the ACT government’s, Active Canberra’s and the local community’s ongoing support, we remain on track,” he added.


Further information/interviews with Tony Prescott: M 0423 024 921

New facility plans on ice no longer -- Canberra Weekly

September 16, 2018

If you've grown up in Canberra, visited the nation's capital on a school tour, or stopped in on the way to the snow, you'll have a memory of Phillip Ice Skating Rink. The Canberra Weekly looks to the future.

Is the Stanley Cup bound for Australia?

June 8, 2018

CANBERRA. -- The National Hockey League’s finals series is over with the Washington Capitals crowned the Stanley Cup champions, winning four games to one over new franchise Las Vegas Golden Knights.


And with today's 4-3 result, thoughts are now focusing on how to get the coveted Stanley Cup to tour down under since the first-ever Australian to play on a Cup winner – Nathan Walker – will have that opportunity.


If a national ice sports centre was already in existence, the ACT Ice Sports Federation believes the Cup would almost certainly make its way down the Hume Highway from Aussie superstar and Caps’ forward, “Stormy” Walker’s hometown of Sydney.


“It’s a long-standing NHL tradition that each player from the winning team gets to take the Stanley Cup home to show off to friends, family and fans, and ever since Nathan Walker got called back up from the minors to re-join the Washington Capitals for their play-off run, the hope has been that the Cup could make its way down under.


“Nathan played a crucial role in game six of the quarter finals setting up a goal which eventually led to a Caps 4-2 victory over the reigning champions, Pittsburgh Penguins. The buzz was all about how the Aussie had sped to retrieve the puck in the Pens’ zone, skated it past opponents behind the net and deftly set up a team-mate with a picture perfect pass which resulted in a shot and ultimately, a goal.


“Nathan has been fortunate to have been called back up to the Caps from a very successful season in the minor pros in the American Hockey League, because he’s considered an integral part of the team during their play-off run, especially with injuries or suspensions leaving spots to fill – that’s exactly what got him into the starting line-up in the quarter finals.


“Even better, as a part of the Caps team during the play-offs, he will likely be awarded a Stanley Cup ring too,” Prescott said.


Walker, 24, was born in Cardiff (Wales), but grew up and played ice hockey in Sydney until his early teens when his family sent him to the Czech Republic to billet with a local family and further develop his on-ice skills.  The rest is history, including being the first Australian to be drafted into the NHL (29th pick in the third round in 2014). He has played nine NHL regular season games, scoring a goal in his debut game, and one play-off game so far, recording an assist.


“We’d love to see Nathan Walker bringing the Stanley Cup back to Australia to show off, and while he may not have a direct connection with Canberra, he has played here and against ACT representative teams, and I’m sure he’d have travelled the short distance to the national capital if we’d had a national ice sports centre in which to show off the world’s oldest existing professional sport trophy,” Prescott said.


“While it may not happen this time with the Stanley Cup, we nonetheless continue to appreciate and value the support of our local ACT politicians, community and business partners in bringing this critical national ice sports centre to fruition for the benefit of the ice sports community and all Canberrans,” Prescott added. 

"Partnership the key" to a new national ice sports centre

June 7, 2018

CANBERRA. -- ACTISF president Tony Prescott told ABC 666 Canberra afternoon show's Anna Vidot that while much has been achieved in work developing options for a new national ice sports centre, more needs to be done using the"partnership" model as a way forward.

Listen to Tony's i/v from around the 43' 30" mark through to the 54' 20" mark.

Ice sports support ACT Budget measures promoting healthy lifestyles

June 5, 2018

CANBERRA. -- Canberra’s ice sports community today welcomed the ACT Government 2018-19 Budget’s renewed commitment to facilities and services promoting healthy lifestyleS in the ACT.


ACT Ice Sports Federation president Tony Prescott said he was happy with Chief Minister Andrew Barr’s funding of a range of indoor and outdoor measures which include: support for 80 local sport and recreation providers and local professional sporting teams; fostering Canberra’s participation in elite-level sport; and funding for more than 100 high performance athletes, including 73 women across 12 sports through the ACT Academy of Sport.


“The 2018-19 Budget specifically provides $51.4m for local sport and recreation,” Prescott said. “This is on top of a range of expanded bicycle paths, bikeways and funding for various festivals, including a new festival for design, culture, coding and gaming.”


While no additional funding was allocated for the proposed national ice sports facility, the process – involving the federation and ACT Government’s Active Canberra– is making good progress.


“The ACTISF, with its member bodies in ice hockey, broomball, figure skating and the CBR Brave, has been working in close partnership with Active Canberra to develop the report,” Prescott said. “Naturally it is something about which we’re very passionate.


“While the report timeline may have stretched from initial expectations, we remain on track and focussed on delivering a quality outcome that will inform government in making the right decision for the future of Canberra’s ice sports.


“We continue to appreciate and value the support of our local politicians in bringing this critical piece of infrastructure to fruition for the benefit of the ice sports community and all Canberrans,” Prescott said.


In September 2016, the chief minister allocated $75,000 from existing funds earmarked for the development of new projects and facilities in the ACT.


“Furthermore, the innovative ACT and NSW Government-joint funding of a new rugby league training facility augurs well for a new national ice sports centre where partnership models to support sport can clearly include Territory, NSW and even Commonwealth funds,” Prescott said.


“We remain excited by Chief Minister Andrew Barr's commitment to work in partnership with us towards a facility of national and international standing,” he added.


Further information/interviews: Tony Prescott, President, ACTISF   M:0421 463 711

ACT politicians join forces for new ice sports centre

April 18, 2018

CANBERRA.—  The ACT Ice Sports Federation (ACTISF) today announced the appointment of MLAs Bec Cody (Labor) and Vicki Dunne (Liberal) as ACTISF co-patrons as the federation continues working towards achieving a new twin-sheet ice sports centre for Canberra.


“Establishing the National Ice Sports Centre in Canberra has been an objective of ours for several years, and the ice sports community is working with all sides of ACT politics to turn this into a reality,” ACTISF president Tony Prescott said today.  “We are very pleased to have Vicki Dunne and Bec Cody join our ranks, both of whom are passionate ice sports advocates and have a long and proud history supporting local ice sports.”


As a teenager,  Bec Cody was one of the early pioneers of women’s ice hockey in the ACT when she started playing at Phillip ice rink. Meanwhile, Vicki Dunne has been a proud ice sports parent for many years, with her son, Tom a junior figure skater before graduating to become an ACT representative – and still active – ice hockey player.


“We welcome the ongoing support from our elected representatives across the political spectrum,” Prescott said.  “It goes to show community sport can bring people together regardless of differences.”


Vicki Dunne was first elected to the legislature in 2001, and is currently deputy Speaker and shadow minister for health and the arts.


“Canberra has been in need of a new ice sports centre for quite some time, and it’s important we develop a venue that allows local ice sports to grow while providing opportunities for all Canberrans,” she said.  “I’m pleased to support the federation in its efforts and I look forward to working with all of the stakeholders to achieve a new ice sports centre.”


Bec Cody, a first-term Labor MLA for Murrumbidgee said she enjoyed the ice sports as a teen.


“I loved playing ice hockey as a teenager, and I would encourage Canberrans to take up the ice sports or recreational ice skating,” she said.  “I look forward to working with the ACT Ice Sports Federation on the future of ice sports in the ACT.”

The ACTISF believes the ice sports’ growing profile in Canberra – and across Australia – offers the ACT Government a golden opportunity to combine community participation with a national focus.


“As proud Canberrans, the commitment we share with Bec and Vicki is to community sport,” Prescott said.


“Building the National Ice Sports Centre will enable our sports to continue to develop and become more sustainable long-term.


“Our vision is for Canberra to become the national capital of ice sports, particularly as we are the gateway to the snow and have the Australian Institute of Sport right here. While developing elite programs will be part of our approach, we want to create new opportunities for our local kids including speed skating, curling and various disabled ice sports activities.


“We want to create skating programs for schools as well as opportunities through ice sports for ‘at risk youth’.  For the federation, it’s about utilising a new facility to give back to the community and growing our sports in the process,” he added.


ACTISF believes a new national ice sports centre could be operational in 2019-20 following a timeline which includes full community consultation, planning, and design.


“The government and the federation agree on the importance of private sector involvement to take this project forward,” Prescott said.


“We remain committed to working with potential investors/operators to achieve a new facility.


 “We encourage any interested parties who share our vision to come forward and help shape this project.”


Chief Minister Andrew Barr announced in August 2016 during the election campaign the ACT government’s commitment to partner with the federation to achieve a new ice sports facility, starting with the government’s funding of an options process.


He said at the time construction of the facility in Canberra’s south would commence within the four year parliamentary term.


“With the ACT government’s, Active Canberra’s and the local community’s ongoing support, we remain on track,” Prescott added.

(Note: RiotACT's Lachlan Roberts' report published on 21 April reflects the importance of the patrons' appointment.)

Daring to dream -- Canberra's ice sports need a new home

March 26, 2018

Tony Prescott, president of the ACT Ice Sports Federation, shares his thoughts in this column published in today's Canberra Times.


Canberra's ice sports, via the ACT Ice Sports Federation (ACTISF), have been campaigning for three years to establish the National Ice Sports Centre, working with a range of stakeholders, including representatives from all sides of ACT politics, community and sports groups, and Active Canberra. To their credit, the Territory’s political leaders so far have backed the federation and have shown their support for new ice sports facilities -- the most overdue sporting infrastructure in the territory.


Community concerns about the current facility, which includes an outdoor swimming pool as well as the recent focus in the Canberra Times on the facility's age and operational capacity, reflects some of the key challenges facing the ice sports community, and reflects some of the key issues stakeholders must consider when working to ensure the future of ice sports in Canberra.


The Phillip Ice Rink is not just a facility for Woden; it is a facility that services all of the ACT and southern NSW, attracting ice sports enthusiasts from all over the capital and beyond, with some people regularly commuting from Yass, Jerrabomberra, Queanbeyan, Goulburn, Cooma and even as far as Albury, to play their sports of choice.


We recognise there are some Canberrans who are not happy about the prospect of the Phillip swimming pool closing, and that they will have to travel to Stromlo to enjoy a swim. While we are not dismissing this concern, from the perspective of our ice sports community, there is only one ice rink in Canberra, and if it closes, the ice sports community will have to commute to Liverpool in Sydney (the next nearest rink)! 


In reality, if the Phillip Rink closes before a new facility is operational, the impact on ice hockey, figure skating, broomball, community skating and school programs would be devastating; it would take years to rebuild the ranks of athletes, coaches, officials, and judges, and it would take years to bring back the spectators and sponsors who make our sports financially viable.


The Phillip ice rink is 37-years-old, making it, along with Adelaide’s Thebarton Rink, two of the oldest ice rinks in Australia. For the last two years, South Australia’s ice sports community has suffered significant ice rink breakdowns, which have led to cancellation of national broomball championships, interruptions with national junior ice hockey championships, Adelaide-based national league teams forgoing training prior to national championships, and serious consideration whether to withdraw permanently Adelaide's teams from national league competitions. 


Thankfully, the South Australian Government has now stepped up, and is working with the private sector and the SA ice sports community to develop not one, but two new twin-sheet (i.e. two rinks in the one facility) facilities in Adelaide; basically ensuring their continuity and survival long-term.


The rink at Phillip is not a standard size, resulting in Canberra's ineligibility to host national figure skating championships or short track speed skating competitions -- simply put, it doesn’t meet the minimum size requirement. Canberra is losing out on opportunities to host major events in ice sports, and as a result, the costs for Canberra’s athletes increase considerably (noting ice sports are already expensive), as participants must travel interstate to compete at major championships. A second "penalty" is that our awesome Canberra ice sports athletes are training in a venue approximately 80% of the standard size. This is the equivalent of coaching an Olympic swimmer in a 40m pool or a 100m runner on an 80m track! Our athletes readily acknowledge this affects their performance when they compete interstate, and overseas. Yet our athletes are regularly holding their own at national and even international level in spite of these conditions. Imagine how awesome Canberra's ice sports athletes could be if there were facilities that met the competition size standards.


Ice time is at a premium with only a single ice rink available, and this leads to scenarios where school-aged figure skaters and ice hockey athletes are training and playing from 6am or as late as 11pm. For our local ice hockey leagues, with around 500 registered players, ‘ice time’ has reached saturation point; with league organisers now rejecting prospective athletes from starting, as they simply cannot accommodate them. The flow-on effect results in a loss of prospective players, coaches, officials, volunteers, spectators and sponsors. A restructure of ice hockey seasons -- moving two ACT leagues from winter to summer to accommodate demand -- has helped address this saturation in the short-term, but as a consequence, referees, coaches, scorers and off-ice officials, all of whom are volunteers, now do not have an off-season. Their voluntary efforts over a full 12 months each year is leading to burn out; and good people are being lost. 


The Phillip ice rink has served us well for 37 years and we are very grateful, but simply put, its best years are well and truly behind it, and it no longer meets the specifications required as we move forward. The ice sports community needs a new functional facility that can cope with the current and future growth of the sports, meet the proper size standards, has modern support facilities and attracts athletes, parents, spectators and sponsors alike. Moreover, the ACTISF -- a partnership of Ice Hockey ACT, ACT Ice Skating Association, Broomball ACT and the CBR Brave -- seeks a venue of which we can be proud and can call home; a venue that reflects our status as the nation’s capital and the gateway to the Snowy Mountains (and the other Olympic winter sports). 


The opportunity is to build not just another Canberra rink, but to establish the National Ice Sports Centre (a twin sheet facility) here in the national capital -- a venue where our young future Canberran ice sports stars can dare to dream -- and the smart play is for the ice sports groups, the local community, the private sector, and the ACT Government, to work together ​now ​to achieve replacement ice sports facilities before the unthinkable occurs, and all is lost.

Ice hockey showcase a huge success for women's sport

March 25, 2018

CANBERRA.— The ACT Ice Sports Federation today welcomed the successful staging of the opening round of the Australian Women’s Tier 2 ice hockey showcase series representing teams from five states at the Phillip ice rink.


“The success of the weekend series  involving more than 100 women ice hockey players, their coaches, managers and trainers is a testament to the enormous potential for a new community ice sports facility,” federation president Tony Prescott said today.


“Teams from Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide, Sydney and the host Canberra Pirates played more than 20 hours of ice hockey, often before near-full stands of rowdy and vocal supporters.


“A new twin-sheet ice sports rink which is a badly needed community facility in the nation’s capital would provide even better on-ice skill, better media opportunities and a much better spectator experience.


“This series is an excellent opportunity for girls and women to see the world’s fastest team sport being played at some of the highest levels in Canberra, confirming our collective commitment to increasing women’s participation in community sport,” Prescott said.


The Tier 2 women’s showcase is the feeder competition into the Australian Women’s Ice Hockey League, a Tier 1 competition with teams from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide.


Murrumbidgee MLA Bec Cody, a former ice hockey player, officially opened the showcase.


“A new national ice sports centre with twin sheets of ice would have community competitions, elite leagues, international figure skating, ice hockey and broomball events making available not only more much-needed ice time, but also an economic windfall for local businesses such as hotels, motels, restaurants, clubs and taxis from the touring teams and competitors.


“A new national ice sports centre would make an annual women’s ice hockey showcase so much more attractive that we’d likely see new teams not only from other states and territories, but also from overseas,” Prescott said.


 “ACT Ice Sports Federation welcomes the visiting players and their fans to Canberra for this great event this past weekend, and we encourage them all to make sure they enjoy the wonderful experiences Canberra has to offer.


“Canberra is the perfect place for these types of tournaments and events, and with a new national ice sports centre, we believe the federation's dream of seeing Canberra as the national home of ice sports is very achievable,” Prescott added.


ACTISF believes a new national ice sports centre project in the most ideal of circumstances could look like this: consultation, planning and design in 2017-18; construction in 2018-19; and an operational facility sometime in 2019-20.


“With the government’s and Active Canberra’s support progressing the options paper, we remain on track,” Prescott said.


Further information/interviews: Tony Prescott, President, ACTISF   M: 0421 463 711

Don't let the facts get in the way of a good story!

March 12, 2018

Today's reporting in the Canberra Times about the future of Canberra's only ice sports facility -- the Phillip Swimming and Ice Skating Centre -- sheds some new light on the intentions of the ownership group of the national capital's only ice sport-specific centre. It's worth reading, in the context that all Canberrans can be assured the ACT Ice Sports Federation's commitment to continue to work with the ACT Govrnment, with Active Canberra and with the consultants retained to produce an options paper for a way forward towards a new national ice sports centre, remains our number one priority. A new ice sports facility for the entire community's benefit is our sole objective! 

ABC interview with ACTISF's president Tony Prescott

March 10, 2018

As part of the Canberra Senators' 20th Challenge Cup promotions, ABC Radio 666's Greg Bayliss invited Tony Prescott into the studios to explain the ACT Ice Sport Federation's vision for the way forward. In case you missed it, Tony went into some important detail about progress being made on the options for a new national ice sports centre in Canberra. Check it out at  http://www.abc.net.au/…/saturday…/saturday-breakfast/9506808 and from about the 1' 26" mark, the i/v begins (initially about the Canberra Senators' oldtimers tournament, and then it moves onto the new national ice sports centre). It ends around 1' 39". It is a valuable near-quarter hour of prime time on air for which we thank ABC666, Greg Bayliss and Peter Williams.

Veteran ice hockey tournament a boon for ACT economy

March 5, 2018

CANBERRA.—Players and teams from Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Newcastle converging on the national capital this week for the oldtimer ice hockey season’s first national tournament of the 2018 season will add substantially to the local economy, according to president of the ACT Ice Sports Federation (ACTISF) Tony Prescott.


“More than 100 players, coaches, support staff, officials and family members will converge on the Phillip Swimming and Ice Skating Centre from 9-11 March for the Canberra Challenge Cup,” Prescott said “and hotels, restaurants, wineries, taxis and bars will reap the benefit of their spend in the ACT.


“A new national ice sports centre, as we envisage it, with twin sheets of ice would cater for three or even four times that number of teams and players, and the economic windfall would exponentially grow from $100,000 to almost $1m.


“Oldtimer or veteran ice hockey is a cohort of the community which has the time, the good health and importantly, the money to spend doing something they enjoy: playing ice hockey, touring new cities, and spending liberally on everything from hotels to meals to entertainment.


“A new national ice sports centre would make this annual pilgrimage so much more attractive that we’d likely see new teams not only from other states and territories, but likely from overseas.  In days gone by, Canberra was hosting at least one overseas team or more every year, but with newer and larger ice sports venues opening up in Newcastle, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, we are now overlooked.


“The Canberra Senators oldtimer ice hockey club is the second oldest veterans ice hockey group in Australia.


“It has a long history of participation every season in events around the nation, as well as hosting the Challenge Cup.


“ACT Ice Sports Federation welcomes the visiting players and their fans to Canberra for this great event, and encourages them all to play hard but in the right spirit, and to use taxis or UBER to get around town after their on-ice commitments are over,” Prescott added.


ACTISF believes a new national ice sports centre project in the most ideal of circumstances could like like this: consultation, planning and design in 2017-18; construction in 2018-19; and an operational facility sometime in 2019.


“With the government’s and Active Canberra’s support progressing the options paper, we remain on track,” Prescott said.


Further information/interviews: Tony Prescott, President, ACTISF   M: 0421 463 711

Winter Olympics inspires young Canberrans to ice sports excellence

February 20, 2018

CANBERRA.—Daily coverage of Australian Winter Olympics heroics in PyeongChang is inspiring the next generation of new winter sports enthusiasts and inundating the national capital’s ice sports associations with eager new participants.


ACT Ice Sports Federation president Tony Prescott said today the three medals Australian athletes had already won, as well as the wide cross section of winter sports in which the 51 competitors are participating, is resulting in increased interest in ice hockey, figure skating and other ice sports.


“We’re very excited by the Winter Olympics, and naturally keen that the options paper, funded by the ACT Government, is now drawing to a conclusion – the timing couldn’t be better,” Prescott said. “It’s the local community, the boys and girls, and the mums and dads who will feed into the next generation of ice sports participants and supporters, enthused by what they’re seeing on their TV screens, mobile devices and in the media.


“A new national ice sports centre, which consolidates the national capital’s leadership in Australia’s sport and physical recreation participation statistics and caters for all abilities, is a priority.


“When Chief Minister Andrew Barr committed funds in the 2016 election campaign for the planning of a new ice sports facility, all of the ACT’s ice sports organisations in Canberra – which have a proud history of achievement at national and international level – committed to work together to establish a centre that our talented ice sports athletes can call home and be a place of which the ice sports community and all Canberrans can be proud,” Prescott said.


He said his multi-disciplinary team was committing every ounce of energy into trying to bring to fruition plans for a new national ice sports centre.


The federation represents the interests of Ice Hockey ACT, the ACT Ice Skating Association, ACT Broomball and the CBR Brave (Australian Ice Hockey League franchise).  The federation is also in talks with ice sports organisations in Australia and overseas, including those which represent ice speed skating, sled hockey, curling, and even blind hockey.


“Optimistically, we think a timetable of consultation, planning and design in 2017-18, with construction in 2018-19, enabling an operational facility sometime in 2019, is achievable, and with the government’s support in progressing the options paper, we remain on track,” Prescott added.

To listen to Tony Prescott's interview on Radio 2CC, click: https://soundcloud.com/user-366030151-186415521/2cc-radio-interview-tony-prescott


Further information/interviews: Tony Prescott, President, ACTISF   M: 0421 463 711

Ice sports diplomacy for Canberra

January 22, 2018

A new national ice sports centre in Canberra could play a role continuing the pathway towards a united Korean peninsula, according to the ACT Ice Sports Federation (ACTISF). 


ACTISF president Tony Prescott said today the federation would welcome hosting combined Korean ice sports teams in the nation's capital as a means of building goodwill through sports diplomacy following the announcement of a combined North and South Korean women’s ice hockey team.

 
“We applaud the International Olympic Committee’s announcement  to combine the two Koreas’ women’s ice hockey teams – the first time ever – to compete in February’s Winter Olympics in Pyeonchang,” Prescott said.


“International sporting events are a powerful diplomatic tool for easing tensions between countries and building friendship among people. Sport, particularly the Olympics, has a rich history of bringing countries, who share little other than a passion for sport, together.” 


A new national ice sports centre could play a useful role hosting goodwill visits of teams from East Asia, North America and Europe, such as the multi-nation Friendship Hockey Games among Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the USA, a series hosted, on rotation, in Canberra on several occasions since the 1990s. 


“These are just the types of international ice sports event a new facility would aim to be staging on a regular basis, and of course we also have our own Canberra Pirates women’s ice hockey team,” Prescott said.  


“Australia has previously hosted both the South Korean and the DPRK (North Korean) men’s ice hockey teams in the World Championship (C Pool) staged in Sydney in 1989. 


“With the large South Korean community in Australia, the then-Blacktown ice rink was packed to the rafters for the game pitting the two Koreas against each other.


Organisers could have sold thousands of seats for that game, but unfortunately the rink only accommodated around 500 spectators. It was played in the spirit of sport and competition on the ice – as it should have been.

 
“We’re quite serious about promoting international ice sports in Canberra, covering figure skating, ice hockey, broomball, speed skating and even possibly curling and sledge hockey, into the future.

 
“There is an Australian ice speed skater competing in the Olympics who is of  Korean ancestry – Andy Jung –  who is making his Olympic debut in the green and gold in short-track speed skating and we wish him every success. 


ACT Ice Sports is eagerly anticipating a final national ice sports centre options report in the coming weeks, and it is expected this will lead to further detailed discussions with the ACT Government on next steps, including design, construction and location.

 
“We continue to be optimistic about Chief Minister Andrew Barr's commitment to work in partnership with us towards building an ice sports facility of national and international standing, here in Canberra,” Prescott said. 


“Realistically, we think a timetable of consultation, planning and design in 2017-18, with construction in 201819, enabling an operational facility sometime in 2019, is achievable, and with the government’s support in progressing the options paper, we remain on track,” Prescott added. 

Further information/interviews: Tony Prescott, President, ACTISF   M: 0421 463 711

ACT Ice Sports Federation leaders committed for long haul

November 2, 2017

CANBERRA.-- Canberra's ice sports community was reassured today its representatives seeking to secure support for a new twin-sheet national ice sports centre would stay the distance.


President of the ACT Ice Sports Federation (ACTISF) Tony Prescott, has welcomed the ACT government’s commissioning of a detailed options paper for establishing the new National Ice Sports Centre. He said the federation would continue its efforts to ensure Canberrans have access to a modern ice sports facility.


“Chief Minister Andrew Barr and deputy Chief Minister and Minister for Sport Yvette Berry committed $75,000 towards planning for a new ice sports facility, and the scoping team is now hard at work assessing options for a viable and suitable facility for Canberra’s growing ice sports community,” Prescott said. “We don’t want to pre-empt its full body of work, but our team is committing every ounce of energy into trying to bring to fruition our plans for a new national ice sports centre,” he said.


The federation represents the interests of Ice Hockey ACT, the ACT Ice Skating Association, the CBR Brave (Australian Ice Hockey League franchise) and ACT Broomball.  The federation is also in talks with ice sports organisations in Australia and overseas, including those which represent ice speed skating, sled hockey, curling, and even blind hockey.


“We want to ensure a new national ice sports centre not only consolidates the national capital’s leadership in Australia’s sport and physical recreation participation statistics – where almost 75 per cent of ACT residents play sport – but also reaches out with as inclusive a policy possible so that all abilities are welcomed to participate in the ice sports,” Prescott said.


The ACT Ice Sports Federation was established in 2016. In addition to Prescott at the helm, its secretary is David Cassar, assistant secretary Christine Carey, and media officer Sandi Logan.


“We are fortunate the existing ice sports organisations in Canberra – all of which have a proud history of achievement at national and international level  – are committed to the federation and are working together to establish the National Ice Sports Centre in Canberra,” Prescott said. “When built, the centre will be a facility that our talented ice sports athletes can call home and be a place of which the ice sports community and all Canberrans can be proud,” Prescott said.


“We are very excited about our future plans for ice sports in Canberra, but we recognise this is more like a marathon than a short sprint; we are absolutely in this for the long haul.


“We remain very excited by Chief Minister Andrew Barr's commitment to work in partnership with us towards building an ice sports facility, here in Canberra, of national and international standing.


“Optimistically, we think a timetable of consultation, planning and design in 2017-18, with construction in 2018-19, enabling an operational facility sometime in 2019, is achievable, and with the government’s support in progressing the options paper, we remain on track,” Prescott added.


Further information/interviews: Tony Prescott, President, ACTISF   M: 0421 463 711

First strides taken in ACT's new ice sports facility

August 15, 2017

CANBERRA.-- Canberra's ice sports community today lauded the ACT Government's commissioning of a detailed options paper for a new national ice sports centre.


Chief Minister Andrew Barr and deputy Chief Minister and Minister for Sport Yvette Berry last September committed $75,000 towards planning for a new ice sports facility.


"This is the next ‘stride’ on from last year’s announcement," ACT Ice Sports Federation (ACTISF) president Tony Prescott said today. "The consultants will produce an options paper for a new twin-sheet ice sports facility, looking at key features such as land and design requirements, as well as financial and business operating models.


“The options paper consultants will utilise internationally recognised expertise including architects, project planners and quantity surveyors with experience in sport and recreation, social infrastructure and working in partnership with government and the community sector.


“The 2017 ACT government Budget specifically funded early planning on future locations for indoor sports facilities, demonstrating the value the government sees in an active, healthy community," Prescott said.


ACTISF believes the ACT’s unique setting as the nation's capital boasting a strong inventory of iconic sites and events, and its natural attraction as a gateway to Australia’s winter Olympic sports in the Snowy Mountains makes Canberra a natural home for a new, modern ice sports complex.


"We support a facility incorporating two (Olympic sized 60m x 30m) ice sheets, with the main rink having plexi-glass, warm-up areas and incorporating approximately 2000 permanent seats," Prescott said. "As we envisage it, the second rink would have limited seating, standing room, and netting.


"The national ice sports centre would be a facility able to host national championships and international tournaments --  a facility of which all Canberrans could be proud,” he added.


Australia's ice sports facilities in every state and territory range in size, design and capacity with many of the rinks utilising dated technology and offering only a restricted spectator experience.


"We are committed to working with the ACT government to ensure planning for a new national ice sports facility in Canberra takes into account not only modern design and technology, but also ensures business continuity planning for operating an affordable and effective twin sheet facility," Prescott said.


"Our intention is to leverage 0ff of the experiences and lessons learned from similar facilities nationally and internationally, to ensure Canberra reaps the benefits of a modern ice sports centre.


“We also want to set a new benchmark for ice sports facilities in Australia at a time when the various ice sports are experiencing unprecedented player and spectator growth nationally.


“We remain excited by Chief Minister Andrew Barr's commitment to work in partnership with us towards building an ice sports facility, here in Canberra, of national and international standing.


“Optimistically, we think a timetable of consultation, planning and design in 2017-18, with construction in 2018-19, enabling an operational facility sometime in 2019, is achievable, and with the government’s commitment to develop the options paper, we remain on track,” he added.


Further information/interviews: Tony Prescott, President, ACTISF   M:0421 463 711

ACT Budget support for indoor sports facilities

June 7, 2017

Canberra’s ice sports community today welcomed the ACT Government’s 2017-18 Budget ongoing commitment to delivering infrastructure and investment in the national capital’s public spaces and places.

ACT Ice Sports Federation president Tony Prescott said he was pleased with Chief Minister Andrew Barr’s funding of early planning on future locations for indoor sports facilities.

“The 2017-18 Budget specifically provides $5.4m to maintain quality sports grounds for local clubs and kids sport,” Prescott said. “This of course is in addition to funding already committed last year for the ice sports to work with government to scope out options for a new state-of-the-art national ice sports centre,” he said.

In September last year, the chief minister allocated $75,000 from existing funds earmarked for the development of new projects and facilities in the ACT.

“The latest Budget support for sports is an excellent omen,” Prescott said.

“The Budget specifically funds early planning on future locations for indoor sports facilities, demonstrating the value the government, and Sport and Recreation minister Yvette Berry see in an active, healthy community.

“The ACT Ice Sports Federation is progressing its consultations with ACT government officials with a vision of establishing Canberra as Australia’s ice sports capital.

“We support a modern complex boasting two (Olympic sized 60m x 30m) ice sheets, with the main rink having plexi-glass, warm-up areas and incorporating approximately 2000 permanent seats.

"The second rink would have limited seating, standing room, and netting.

"The centre would have all the mod cons expected of a facility that would enable Canberra to host national championships and international tournaments," he added.

The federation says there is huge potential to grow the ice sports in Canberra, an indoor activity which offers participants and spectators alike a close-up experience with figure skating, speed skating, ice hockey, broomball and recreational skating.

“The sheer extent of success already being achieved by Canberra’s male and female ice sports athletes on the national and international stage, along with a new facility, would enable us to build on that success,” Prescott said.


“It will not just benefit Canberra’s very talented young athletes but all of Australia’s ice sports and the wider Canberra community as well.

“We remain very excited by Chief Minister Andrew Barr's commitment to work in partnership with us towards a facility of national and international standing.

“Optimistically, we think a timetable of consultation, planning and design in 2017-18, with construction in 2018-19, enabling an operational facility sometime in 2019, is achievable,” he added.

Further information/interviews: Tony Prescott, President, ACTISF   M:0421 463 711