I am a parent of a Special Olympics figure skater. She has been involved in the past six Northern California Special Olympic skating events held at Gateway Ice Center. The athletes train one to two times per week. This vital program would either be relocated and our athletes allowed to train not as frequently or it may be eliminated.
The Special Olympics Ice Skating Program involves schools, adult transition programs, adult day programs and independent athletes not affiliated with a program or school. These athletes take great pride in their skating accomplishments. I've observed athletes who started out clinging to the side graduate to skating independently by the end of training.
The city appears to be measuring the purchase of Gateway Ice Center as a financial burden. It is clear to me you cannot measure the quality of family life in the city of Fresno by the dollar only. Skating helps develop skills socially, emotionally, increases self-esteem as well as providing excellent physical activity for individuals of all ages and abilities. On Feb. 6 I hope the City Council seriously reconsiders existing proposals and opens dialogue with Gateway Ice Center.