Norwich roller rink welcomes back skaters after lockdown
- Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021
Disco lights, dance moves and wheels galore could be seen at Norwich’s roller-skating rink, which welcomed back adult skaters for the first time since before the third national lockdown.
Funkys roller rink, at Burton Road Business Park, in Norwich, saw their adult skaters return to the venue's most popular weeknight session, on Thursday May 20, after coronavirus restrictions lifted on May 17.
This comes after a roller revolution swept across Norfolk in lockdown which saw hundreds take up the sport and take to the streets as they awaited the reopening of indoor rinks.
Around 140 skaters, of all abilities, flocked to the venue for its first over 18s session since December last year.
Dale Sharpe, 40, has been skating for 25 years and said it felt “amazing" to be back at the rink.
“Lots of new people have taken up skating in the last year," he said. "It's so good to see new and old skaters enjoying themselves and socialising. I feel lucky to be a part of the community.
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“Having Funkys open again is great. It has been a big part of mine and so many people's lives - it’s an awesome venue with a lovely, friendly atmosphere.”
Simon Weston has worked as a rink steward at Funkys for 12 years he said it was one of the busiest Thursday nights in a long time – albeit with reduced capacity under restrictions.
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He said: “I started skating 33 years ago, and have worked at Funkys as a rink steward for 12 years. I also had two periods of working there in the late 90s too.
“Last night was amazing, the vibe and the atmosphere was incredible.
“A special thanks to the Norwich Roller Girls Facebook group for turning up in great numbers. It’s great to be open again, seeing both old faces and many new ones.”
Funkys company director and manager Gary Osborne said despite feeling apprehensive about the reopening, he was pleased that the skaters stuck to the rules and abided by coronavirus restrictions.
Heidi England, 32, a rink steward, added: “I can’t remember working a Thursday where it’s been that busy, and I’ve worked here almost nine years now.
"The skating scene has definitely exploded during lockdown, and it’s brilliant to see so many new skaters added to the skate family.”