READY: Bowen kids are lacing up, ready to enjoy the new skate rink. Pictured: Brodie Barrett, Kiara Mason and Charley Petersen.
READY: Bowen kids are lacing up, ready to enjoy the new skate rink. Pictured: Brodie Barrett, Kiara Mason and Charley Petersen.

PCYC Bowen officially launch Ann McQueen Skate Rink

PCYC Bowen are inviting the community to attend the official launch of the Ann McQueen Skating Rink on Friday, February 21, from 5.30pm.

The historic skate rink was renovated in July last year and after a successful re-opening of the PCYC, the official launch will welcome community members as well as Whitsunday Regional Council Mayor Andrew Willcox.

The skate rink is a memorial, named in honour of the late Ann McQueen, who was a former Bowen Hospital matron, deputy mayor and significant advocate for the Bowen community.

Cr Willcox said the reopening was important as the rink was in need of renovation, but it would also act as an important memorial to Ann McQueen.

"She did a lot of work with the community, she kept kids on the straight and narrow," he said.

"I am honoured to open it in her name and honour."

Ann McQueen, former deputy mayor of the Bowen Shire Council, who retired to Chinchilla in 2008.
Ann McQueen, former deputy mayor of the Bowen Shire Council, who retired to Chinchilla in 2008.

Cr Willcox said the new skate rink had a range of brand new facilities including a new toilet block, a better canteen block, better seating and a jumping pillow for people to enjoy.

"It's a great chance to get kids into the great outdoors, enjoy a bit of exercise and it's an excellent location right on the seaside."

PCYC Queensland chief executive officer Phil Schultz was grateful for support from Whitsunday Regional Council and funding through the government's Works for Queensland program to completely renovate the community icon.

"The community investment into the skating rink has meant PCYC Bowen can continue to provide an important social hub for the Bowen community," he said.

"The united support from council, government funding and corporate funding from companies like Abbot Point Operations has been incredible."

PCYC Bowen branch manager Sergeant Michelle O'Regan is thrilled with the new facility and the growing number of people showing their support each week.

"It is incredibly uplifting to see how many young people and families come every Friday night to enjoy the atmosphere and interaction," she said.

"It's wonderful to see the community connecting with our local police officers and one another through a fun and healthy activity."

Pictured Back L to R: Brooke Horstman, Const. Emma Walsh, Const. Ross Petersen, Ethan Jones, Snr Const. Joshua Groves, Sgt. Billy Li holding daughter Venice Li. Middle L to R: Brodie Barrett, Julie Webb, Zaine Mason, PLO Darryl Paul, Acting Sgt Jason Kreymborg. Front L to R: Kiara Mason, Kyah Cockburn, Charley Petersen. Front left corner: Sgt Michelle O’Regan.
Pictured Back L to R: Brooke Horstman, Const. Emma Walsh, Const. Ross Petersen, Ethan Jones, Snr Const. Joshua Groves, Sgt. Billy Li holding daughter Venice Li. Middle L to R: Brodie Barrett, Julie Webb, Zaine Mason, PLO Darryl Paul, Acting Sgt Jason Kreymborg. Front L to R: Kiara Mason, Kyah Cockburn, Charley Petersen. Front left corner: Sgt Michelle O’Regan.

Sgt O'Regan extended her gratitude to the PCYC Bowen RUBY Crew, the Youth Management Team who volunteer who run the skate nights, saying she was "incredibly proud".

"These young people are integral to the operation from running the canteen, managing the skates, and helping young kids skate safely," she said.

"As a charity focused on youth development, our skate nights have provided almost 200 RUBY Crew members with the opportunity to develop their social skills, build their confidence and leadership potential and engage with the community, and I couldn't be prouder of their development and growth."

Since reopening in July last year, Sergeant O'Regan said the attendances have "grown steadily" with more than 3000 children and adults attending the renovated skate rink.

"I'm thrilled the skating rink continues to grow in popularity," she said.

"With support from Safer Communities, we also run events and activities including outdoor movie nights, skate nights and youth development programs to increase our reach in the community.

"Due to the popularity, we have started to open the facility during school holidays and some weekends, and we are now welcoming private hiring inquiries for birthday parties, adult skate nights, training opportunities and more!"

The team from PCYC Bowen expect a large turnout and ask attendees to bring a chair and a blanket 'just in case'.


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