Sapphire launch

Sapphire launch
Sapphire launch

The mayor’s special guests with dignitaries cutting the ribbon.

Fans eagerly queued outside in the cold to await a glimpse of their ‘Dancing on Ice’ hero Ray Quinn, at the opening of Sapphire Ice and Leisure centre in Romford at the weekend.

The Everyone Active centre in partnership with Havering Council was officially opened on Saturday (February 3) by Havering’s Mayor, Councillor Linda Van den Hende and attended by the Dancing on Ice star and former X factor contestant, Quinn, alongside former Olympic hurdler Colin Jackson.

Havering’s Mayor, Councillor Linda Van den Hende with Councillor Roger Ramsey
Havering’s Mayor, Councillor Linda Van den Hende with Councillor Roger Ramsey

Havering’s dignitaries were in attendance and were present at the ribbon cutting event. Colin Jackson told the crowds: “I’m very excited to be here as part of the team who are opening the Sapphire ice rink and leisure facility.”

Fans cheered as they waited for Ray to appear behind the red ribbon, he told the crowds, “I’ve got my Everyone Active t-shirt on and I’m really honoured to be here, thank you so much for having me.”

Fantastic

After the ribbon was cut, by Cllr Van den Hende, Havering’s Leader of the Council, Councillor Roger Ramsey said: “This is a fantastic occasion for Havering Council, it is the culmination of seven years of work, to bring the ice rink back to Romford and shows the ambition the council has for Havering to have facilities like this.”

Ray Quinn
Ray Quinn

Fans were treated to a special performance on the ice by Ray and later in the day had the opportunity to try out the facilities for themselves.

Romford MP Andrew Rosindell told The Enquirer: “This is a wonderful day for Havering, I remember the Dolphin Centre being closed in 1995, and we haven’t had a swimming pool and a leisure centre since then. It’s a fantastic facility, its modern, welcoming and there is so much for everyone to enjoy.”

Cllr Van den Hende was equally excited about the new centre. She said: “It’s a fantastic facility, the ice rink is amazing, I love ice hockey, I saw a lot of it in Canada. The fact the gym overlooks the swimming pool is great; and the pool floor comes up and down, to adjust the depth of the water. Technologically, this is a really cool place.”

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