Roller skaters are asked to find new home

Members of 1066 Rollerdance outside Summerfields
Members of 1066 Rollerdance outside Summerfields

A ROLLER skating club is being asked to leave its home after more than 35 years.

1066 Rollerdance, which is based at Summerfields Leisure Centre in Bohemia Road, has to leave before March 17.

Bosses at the facility said the sports hall floor was in need of replacement and the new material used was unsuitable for roller skating.

The group is run by Stacy Boarer. Her mum Linda White, the club’s treasurer, said: “We first found out about this when we went down to the centre to make our bookings from now to the summer holidays. A member of staff said we obviously hadn’t heard about us having to leave. It was a bit of a bombshell.

“Summerfields sent us a letter on January 13 but we didn’t receive it until January 31. We have members from Bexhill, Battle, Rye and from all over the place. There is no other roller skating group in this area, the nearest being in Kent. We don’t want the club to fold.”

Michele Stace, one of the club’s trainers, said some of the members were in tears when they found out the news.

She added: “We have been offered Bexhill Leisure Centre but it’s not as accessible for some of our members, who come from further afield.”

Matt James, Freedom Leisure centre manager at Summerfields Leisure Centre, said: “The sports hall floor at Summerfields was in need of replacement and we looked for a surface that suited our main sports hall activities. The previous floor was relatively hard. While this made it suitable for roller skating, it was less kind to people’s joints and bodies when they did impact sports.

“We applied for and were awarded funding from Badminton England to re-lay a modern cushioned TARAFLEX floor which is an excellent, sprung surface on which to play sports. However, for roller skaters it would feel like skating through treacle and is not appropriate for this activity. The funding was granted in a very tight timeframe, hence full consultation wasn’t possible. We wrote to 1066 Rollerdance as soon as we were awarded the funding and the dates for the work agreed. I’m sorry we weren’t able to give them more notice.

“1066 Rollerdance has been a valued customer at Summerfields for many years and we will be sorry to lose them. We would welcome 1066 Rollerdance at Bexhill Leisure Centre. We hope they can accept this offer so we can continue to accommodate them.”