A list of rules posted at the entrance of the skating rink at U.P's Cineplex
Photo Credit: Gordon French/BVI Platinum News
The skating rink is the latest addition to the multi-floor U.P's Cineplex building and over the past weeks, there have been at least four reported accidents resulting in serious leg injuries, but management believes that they are not to be blamed because skaters are being reckless.
Sheets of white paper that display a list of 14 rules that apply to the skating rink are visible throughout the building, but proprietor Elton Leonard said most persons want to skate like a professional skater when they are not.
"We cannot be responsible for skaters who are trying to do more than what they are capable of doing. It's not our fault. One guy who broke his leg was playing a game, trying to skate and pick up money from the floor. A 77 year-old lady sprained her foot some time ago; she wanted to go back into skating and was injured. She did not feel it was U.P's fault," Leonard explained.
One rule clearly states that "persons entering the building assume all risk regarding accidents and injuries".
Another rule states, "fast, reckless, tag playing or skating in an unsafe manner that may jeopardize the safety of others will not be permitted".
Leonard said that there are training bars to help beginner skaters, but people are not using them. He maintained that skating is like every other sport and if you want to play, then accidents do happen.
"I am a softball player. I got knocked out twice playing softball; that is not because of the softball field, it's not because the pitcher pitched a ball towards my head and I couldn't get to move fast enough and he knocked me out," Leonard explained.
Persons have expressed concern about safety while using the rink, but Leonard said most persons who skate understand that there are risks involved like any other sport and don't have a problem with it.
"Those that critique us are persons who don't come there. They hear someone make a story and they take it and say what they want to say," Leonard stated.
He appealed to skaters to be more careful and go slow.
"Take your time and learn properly before you go fast. Many persons watch other people who can skate moving fast and doing tricks and the person who starts to learn to skate feel like they can skate a little bit and then they want to go into the sport more aggressive and that is when the problem happens. You don't hear about children breaking their foot because they are taking their time doing what they are supposed to do. It's mostly the adults who want to go fast and get a little crazy that are being injured. That is recklessness," Leonard explained.
He assured that the company will add rails around the rink for persons learning to skate. According to Leonard, the rails might be a better way to go since persons are not using the training bars.
He also pointed out that there are early sessions where trainers are available to help beginners.
Concerns With Glass
Persons have also expressed concern that while skating, someone could fall through the glass enclosed windows and plummet several floors; however, Leonard assured that the glass is "very thick and no one can fall through".
"The glass can withstand 200 miles per hour hurricane winds. In order for someone to get out that glass, they really would want to break it and then jump through. The glass is thick glass; nobody can just fall through them. There is protection in front of all the glass. You will have to go through a couch before you can get through them," Leonard.
The area which is used as the skating rink at U.P's Cineplex. It will also be used for ballroom dancing and other social events.
Photo Credit: Gordon French/BVI Platinum News
Asked if the installation of the rails has anything to do with protecting the glass, he maintained that the glass is safe enough as it is.
"The real reason for rails is to have the skater who can't skate to hold on. The glass is thick and it will take a lot to get through. The rails will be installed, not for the protection of the glass, but to help people who can't skate," Leonard stated.
He said the rink has been a successful addition to the building which also houses five cinemas, a bowling alley, a food court and other entertainment elements.
"When something is going too well there is always some jealousy and people will find negative things to say. People come here every day in numbers. People enjoy skating and only the people who cannot skate are the ones who have the fear factor and they have to learn first. We have a diverse set of skaters; it's not just young boys; we have many business people who are big fans of skating. We also have a lot of families who skate also," Leonard stated.
He said they also have lit staircases, security officers at the door inside and outside and they have added security features to the parking lot, including lights and surveillance cameras.