Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A Cool Time in a Hot Town

This is the time of year when we make plans to head to air-conditioned spaces or to visit seashore and lakeside places. Cool is the rule or what's a summer for? Starting tomorrow we can be hometown proud and thrillin' and chillin' all at the same time as The Norwich Skating School at the Norwich Municipal Ice Rink hosts the 21st Annual Ice Skating Institute's District One Championships.

This is the first time this event, which features skaters from across New England, will be held in Connecticut, period, and the Ice Rink is where it will all happen. For fans of competitive ice skating, historically, a significant number of those whom we'll see in the coming days will be competing ultimately for spots on the Olympic Team.

If you've been to The Rink, and judging from the number of skating lessons and hockey leagues that go on there year round, it's already a sizable number, you know what a great facility we have. Now, thanks to the District One Championships, a lot of people who've never been to Norwich will be coming to call.

The days will be long and the competition as fierce as it will be varied. If you're even a casual fan you'll want to call the rink at 860.892.2555 or visit them on line to get a full schedule of events and additional details. Even if you can't tell a forward sizzle from a crossover or you think all hockey revolves around the Stanley Cup (not around here it won't), this is big deal because it's another opportunity for Norwich to put its best foot forward.

And if that foot has a skate or two, so much the better! Organizers expect, at a minimum, twenty teams of competitors on each day of the championships and we're talking long days (now do you see why I told you to call the rink to learn about the schedule?). It's reasonable to anticipate hundreds (if not more) of visitors who could certainly enjoy a chance to see some of what else makes Norwich a great place to live and work (and if you don't think so, why do you live or work here?).

Should we expect to see an influx of new faces in places around town like the Leffingwell House Museum, Howard T. Brown Park or perhaps at The Rose Garden in Mohegan Park? I say we should count on it. Will residents get asked by passing motorists for directions to places to eat or to someplace to spend the nights between competitions? Ayup, and it would be great to have answers that helped assure our guests stayed in the city limits.

You gotta use what you got to get what you want. Amen. And this is as serious an example as I can think of. You know how we always talk about bringing the world to Norwich? Well the District One Championships aren't the whole world, but they're a piece of a bigger world that we've been yearning to be a part of since what seems like the last Ice Age. It's a beauty way to go.
-bill kenny

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