The tight-knit skating community of Norwich’s closed ice rink is coming together to breathe new life into their hobby in 2013.

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They have taken inspiration from a new type of skating which was featured on popular BBC Television programme Dragon’s Den and are not allowing the fact they have no ice to skate on stop them.

Off-ice skating is now the name of the game for the Norwich skaters, who were left without a local rink when Planet Ice, in Drayton High Road, closed in June of this year.

The off-ice skates are roller blades which have been specially designed to create the effect of being on ice, with a “rockered-effect” chassis ensuring that the skater is not balancing on more than two wheels at any point.

Now a group of more than 40 skaters who used to meet at Planet Ice have been meeting at Funkys Roller Skating & Adventure Play centre on the Vulcan Road Industrial Estate, in Hellesdon.

The Norwich Off-Ice Skating Academy has now been established and will be starting off with an evening session for registered members at Hellesdon High School on Saturday, January 18.

Sue Clements, one of the group’s founders, said: “We held an open session at Funkys in November and about 40 people turned up to see what these new skates can do and everyone who turned up has been buying the off-ice skates like mad for Christmas.

“After the ice rink closed we never got to do things like the Christmas show, which was a big disappointment, so we’re describing this as the phoenix rising from the flames!”

Anyone wishing to join the academy needs to register first, for further details search for Norwich Off Ice Skating Academy on Facebook or email sueclements68@btinternet.com

Have you got a community story for the Evening News? Contact reporter Rosa McMahon on 01603 772495 or rosa.mcmahon@archant.co.uk

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