Shimla (Jan 3) Hundreds of snow skaters across the country gathered, to take part in a three- day National Ice Skating Championship that kicked off here today.
Ice Skating Club Secretary, Bhuvnesh Banga told media persons that events in Speed Skating and Figure Skating would be organized in sub-junior, junior and senior categories.
He said a training camp was organized here by the US-based Skating Coach, Emmy Parekh before the meet.
“A thick layer of ice has been regularly forming on the clay ground rink these days. This shows that the night temperature has dipped sharply,” Banga added.
Renowned as Ice Skating Rink, it was set up in 1920 by Irish military officer who inadvertently kept a bucket of water outside his residence one day and found that it had frozen in the morning. This gave him the idea of a skating rink and he created a small one of his own, Banga informed.
The officer also trained his Indian servants in the art of sprinkling water on clay ground that freezes under natural conditions.
It is among three such type of natural rink in the world as two other is at Gulmarg in Jammu and Kashmir and another is at Switzerland.
The ice-skating rink in Shimla has the largest open-air area in India. Skaters can enjoy skating on the ice in two sessions every day, during morning and evening hours.
Tourist with a mood to practice skating can earn a membership card from the skating club. They can either opt this for a short term or can even go for single session. Besides, the carnival season also schedules a number of programmes like fancy dress competition, cultural dances, ice hockey and lot more.
A club official said crystal-clear skies are ideal for the natural formation of ice. “If the sky is cloudy, the night temperature rises and if it’s clear, the temperature dips. The high humidity level enables the water to freeze quickly,” he said.