Dundonald International Ice Bowl is delighted to launch two brand new inclusive and accessible ice sessions, commencing from Friday 13 October 2023 and suitable for those age 4 and over.

Disability Sledging and Inclusive Ice Skating sessions, which will be held on the last Friday of every month from 4.15pm – 5.15pm, aim to open up ice sports to disabled people in Northern Ireland.

In partnership with the Belfast Giants, Disability Sledging sessions will offer individuals with physical and mobility-related disabilities access to experience ice sports.

The specialised adapted sledges have been funded by the Department for Communities, supported by the Belfast Giants’ official community outreach partner, Belfast Harbour. Each adaptive ice sledge has two skate blades, mounted on a metal bracket which supports a metal frame and plastic seat. Fully adjustable, the sledge can accommodate a range of user sizes. 

Participants can take to the ice on the sled with two short ice hockey sticks, equipped with small picks. These allow the user to manoeuvre around the ice using their upper body strength. Wheelchair users are welcome to the sessions.

Trained Dundonald International Ice Bowl staff will be on hand during the Disability Sledge sessions to provide assistance. Belfast Giant players will also be in attendance, match schedule permitting.   

Alongside Disability Sledding, Dundonald International Ice Bowl is thrilled to introduce Inclusive Ice Skating.  

Also taking place on the last Friday of the month at 4.15pm – 5.15pm, these sessions are suitable for individuals with autism spectrum disorders, those with sensory sensitivities and non-mobility-related disabilities.

The specialised skating aids, purchased by Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council, are fully height adjustable with a maximum weight restriction of 220 pounds (lb). Trained Ice Bowl staff will assist with the fitting of the skating aids to the individual’s requirements before the session begins.

Commenting on the new ice sessions, Chair of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council’s Leisure & Community Development Committee Councillor Thomas Beckett said:

“We are delighted to partner with the Belfast Giants to introduce Disability Sledging here at Dundonald International Ice Bowl. The exciting initiative has been made possible by the impressive equipment loaned by the Belfast Giants. It is our aim to progress these sessions in the future to include sticks, pucks and nets for a Disability Ice Hockey experience.

"The council is pleased to introduce Inclusive Ice Skating. Following extensive research, the innovative skating aids, purchased by the council from Finland, are suitable for those with non-mobility-related disabilities who require a little extra assistance on the ice. Both disability friendly ice sessions will take place on the last Friday of the month and coincide with our popular ASD Indiana Land sessions which run the second and last Friday of the month. As a council, we aim to create an enjoyable and inclusive experience for visitors to our facilities. We hope the sessions open up ice sports for disabled people, continuing to remove barriers to participation in sport and physical activity.”

Both sessions are available to Buddy Card holders.

For more information, visit www.theicebowl.com