My name is Elizabeth Hindson [age 12]; my blog is about my experiences at the National Ice Centre in Nottingham [NIC]. I have been to several concerts at the arena; also for the past 2 years I have been a season ticket holder for the Nottingham Panthers. In addition I have been skating at the arena including on the main ice rink.

The former Nottingham Ice Stadium opened in 1939. It was in operation for approximately 61 years before a decision was made to build a new arena. The old arena was demolished to make way for the new facility; this was built on roughly the same site. Other buildings were also knocked down including an ‘Art Deco Warehouse’ and the ‘Old Cricket Players’, which was a pub next to the old arena. There was a delay on construction, this was because there was a 19th century graveyard found underneath the old car park.

Jayne Torvill [Olympic gold medalist] officially opened the new arena on the 1st April 2000. The NIC was the first twin Olympic sized ice rink in the UK. The total cost of the project was £43 million. Unfortunately the organisation lost £1millon during the first year of operation.

My first experience of the new arena was attending a Nottingham Panthers ice hockey game. I have now been watching the Panthers for 3 years and I am a season ticket holder. What I really love best about attending the games is the atmosphere. The introduction video to welcome the players on to the ice is excellent and I particularly enjoy the music, which is played during a break in play. My favourites are the ‘Chelsea Dagger’ and ‘Just Can’t Get Enough’. I also like the players’ individual songs i.e. ‘Mr Boombastic’ (Andy Bombach) and ‘Give It Up’ (David Ling). Unfortunately those two players have now left, so I look forward to some new songs, which will fit individual players for the coming season. At the end of the first period an opportunity is given to local figure skaters to perform, which is a great platform for them. I know how hard these skaters work; some have to practice at 6am in the morning.

I have now been watching ice hockey for a few years, so I am building up some knowledge of the game. It is the speed of the game that I like the most, also it is very physical and this often leads to penalties. I think I can spot most of the penalty calls as they happen. Actually this all helps with my schoolwork as I sometimes write about parts of the game. I want to mention some of the players that I notice the most when they are on the ice, Miika Wiikman who is the Panthers netminder, Robert Farmer and Stephen Schultz; also now former players Evan Mosey and Cam Janssen. I also look out for opposing players Leigh Salters (now retired) and Andrew Lord also Brian Stewart (who makes me laugh).

I always look forward to the Play-off weekend at the NIC. It is really great when all the fans get together; it is just the best atmosphere. Each year before the first game there is a large group of us that meet up and last season we had 13 family and friends all having breakfast together. This is a great start to the weekend programme.

I would like to say how lucky we are in Nottinghamshire to have a facility like the National Ice Centre and I look forward to going every week to see the Panthers. I have also very much enjoyed the concerts that are held there. I have been to see Little Mix twice and Olly Murs; these were excellent shows with great sounds, also you have a great view from all the seats.

Thank you for reading my blog about all things associated with the NIC, I hope you enjoyed it.

Lizzie Hindson