Shortage of natural ice experts threatens the future of skating in the Netherlands: Skating group
There is an imminent shortage of volunteers who take care of natural ice rinks in the Netherlands during winter, reports skating association KNSB. The association started a recruitment campaign on Friday to train more natural ice masters.
Over 450 natural ice associations are affiliated with the KNSB, tasked with maintaining natural ice rinks on frozen lakes and waterways in the winter. Before the frost sets in, a team of trained natural ice masters and other volunteers prepare to turn these locations into beautiful ice rinks, according to the skating association. "This has to be done quickly over a few days because the periods of continuous frost are getting shorter. This requires more people and new techniques."
The more ice masters, the safer skating becomes, said Rieks Poelman of the KNSB. Skating on natural ice is an experience on UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage list, the federation indicated. "Therefore, it is important we preserve it. Without ice masters, there can be no natural ice rinks or safe ice routes," said Poelman.
People aged 18 and older can sign up for one of the courses, which will be organized throughout the Netherlands this December.
Reporting by ANP.