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Posted on 16th February 2023

The North East Opens Figure Skating Championships at Billingham Forum Ice Arena had some special guests on the first day of the competition when residents from Hadrian’s Park care home were invited to be guests of honour at the event.

The residents were not only thrilled to watch some fantastic performances on the ice, but BBC Radio Tees reporter Dan Ragusa interviewed the residents on their reactions to the event and Dan’s report was broadcast on the Gary Phillipson Show.

Hadrian’s Park were invited to the event after they were due to participate in the Care Home Legends community sporting event at Thornaby Pavilion in December 2022, but due to a Covid-19 outbreak they were unable to attend.

The residents were given VIP seats and were delighted to witness some amazing performances from talented skaters from across the country. Laura Griffiths, the Physical Activity Lead at Hadrian’s Park said “We have been getting the residents in the mood for the event by watching Dancing on Ice, we were really happy when Tees Active had informed us that the Billingham and Whitley Skating Clubs would like us to attend the event. Our residents have had a fantastic time and have not stopped talking about their experience and cannot wait for the next figure skating competition.”

Allan McDermott, Tees Actives Community Engagement Manger said “The residents have had a great time and after the disappointment of missing out on the Care Legends event they have been spellbound by the performances of the skaters today. Being interviewed for BBC Radio Tees will definitely make them the talk of the Care Home.”

The North East Opens have had over 400 skaters competing this week at Billingham Forum and the feedback from the skaters has been extremely positive.

Allan added” The competition has been a resounding success, and this is due to the hard work of the organisers from Billingham and Whitley Ice Skating Club who have worked tirelessly to deliver such a high-quality event.”

I've not been since I was a kid, couldn't believe the transformation. Will be back soon!

Steve - Darlington
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