All is not well for roller skaters at the rink in Elliots Beach, Besant Nagar. The floor has cracked at many places, making it difficult to slide. Poor lighting makes it worse.
“On the eastern side, the flooring is heavily cracked. As a result, students can't use that portion.
On this rink, it is difficult to do speed-skating,” says S. Senthilnathan, a parent who accompanies his daughter to the rink.
Many other parents say that sliding on such a surface exhausts one more quickly. Plus, there is also the concern about shoes wearing out easily.
The rink was opened by the Chennai Corporation in the mid-1990s and classes were started a few years later.
It draws people from different areas of the city because of its wide track (the inner radial of the rink measures up to 90 metres).
About 50 children on an average practice at the rink on a daily basis.
The number goes up considerably during the weekends and summer vacations.
Regular skaters say if rink is not maintained properly, the possibility of new skaters coming in will get slimmer.
“I cannot remember the last time when the floor was polished.
At least once in five years, the rink needs maintenance, most importantly polishing of the floor,” says S. Nandhalal, one of the main coaches who has been taking classes for over a decade.
Earlier the rink was fenced with iron grills, but sea breeze damaged it leaving it with no cover.
There are other corporation-maintained rinks, including the ones at Anna Nagar, Marina Beach and Natesan Park in KK Nagar.
Keywords: Besant Nagar skating rink