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An Ice Rink for King’s Park? Consultation results from Infant, Primary and Junior Schools in Bournemouth. Background For some time there have been public calls for a purpose built ice rink in Bournemouth. Over the past two years Bournemouth Borough Council has been investigating the possibility of providing a new purpose built facility. After looking carefully across the borough, King’s Park has been identified as a potential site for a permanent ice skating complex. The proposal for King’s Park is to build an all new leisure complex to include a mix of sports and leisure facilities, with an ice rink as the main feature. Bournemouth Borough Council consulted residents about this proposal. This report shows the findings of the consultation conducted with school children in infant, junior and primary schools across the borough. These results should be considered along with the other parts of the consultation: Postal survey of 7,000 residents Face-to-face interviews with children and young people Emails and letters from residents wishing to express their views Method In November 2008 all 26 local infant, junior and primary schools in the borough were invited to share their views on the ice rink proposal. Each school was sent a short questionnaire and some information about ice skating and other leisure activities. The schools were asked to discuss the subject with the children then ask them to complete a questionnaire. Completed questionnaires were returned by eight schools: King’s Park Primary, Kingsleigh Primary, Stourfield Infant, Stourfield Junior, St Clement’s & St John’s CE Infant, St Michael’s CE Primary, St Walburga’s Catholic Primary and Winton Primary Approximately 1,150 children took part in this piece of consultation. The pupils ranged from Reception to Year 6, and were a mix of boys and girls. This is an approximation because the questionnaires were completed differently by each school and each class. In some cases the response was one questionnaire per class, in other cases it was one per pupil. This inconsistency in methodology creates a caveat which should be observed throughout this report. This analysis is based on the information offered by the pupils and may not always be accurate. Whilst analysing the data, it was observed that the responses from individual pupils differed slightly from the responses from an entire class. This suggests that there may have been some inclination for children to answer differently when they had to answer in front of their peers (i.e. they may be more likely to put their hand up if a number of their classmates were putting their hands up). Findings Pupils were asked for their views on ice-skating and about sports in general. The findings were as follows: Ice-skating Approximately half of the children had tried ice-skating before. The proportion of children who have tried ice-skating increased with age; from around a third of children in Reception to around three quarters of children in Year 6. The proportion of children who have tried ice-skating varied by school. Pupils at Winton and St Walburga’s were more likely to have tried ice- skating that pupils at King’s Park, Kingsleigh and Stoufield. The remaining 3 schools had too few responses to comment on. The majority (around four in five) of children would like to try ice- skating. Around one in ten children would not like to try ice skating. Younger children (Reception and Year 1) are slightly more likely than other children to be unsure whether or not they would like to try ice- skating. The majority of children had positive views on ice-skating. The most common positives were ‘I can go with my friends’, ‘It’s a fun way to exercise’ and ‘I can practice and get better’. This was consistent across age groups and schools. A small number of children were concerned that ice skating would be dangerous and/or scary. This concern seemed to be based on the fact that some children had tried skating before and had hurt themselves. Sports in general The majority of children had tried football and mini-golf. Around three quarters had tried football and around two thirds had tried mini-golf. Reception pupils were less likely that average to have tried either activity. Around half of all children had tried a climbing wall in the past. Reception pupils were less likely to have tried it, whilst Year 6 children were more likely to have tried it. A minority of children had tried either surfing or archery. Less than one third had tried surfing and less than half had tried archery. A very small minority (around one in ten) had ever tried ice hockey or figure skating. Around half of the children said they would like to try ice hockey, whilst slightly less than half would like to try figure skating. The majority (around four in five) children said they would like to do more sports outside of school. From these findings it is clear that children are generally positive about the idea of an ice rink. Most think they would like to try ice-skating, and around half would like to try ice hockey or figure skating. Children generally think the ice rink would be would be a positive experience however, it should be noted this is based on assumption for around half of the children, as they have never actually been ice-skating.
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