Ice-chilled Sports at Taman Anggrek Mall, Jakarta.

Ice-chilled Sports at Taman Anggrek Mall, Jakarta.

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Feeling like skating or hockey while in Jakarta? No, we’re not talking about the 80’s four-wheeled stroller on shoes nor the Lacrosse-like, round-balled sports. We’re talking about the ‘cooler’, please excuse the pun, versions of skating and hockey, ice skating and ice hockey. Just head to Sky Rink Jakarta, located inside of Taman Anggrek Mall, one of the most popular shopping malls in West Jakarta. Sky Rink claims itself to be ‘one of the largest ice skating rinks in South East Asia’, as well as ‘one of the most beautiful’.

With a rink size of around 1,248 m2 or roughly 2/3 of a standard-sized ice hockey rink, the claims are pretty justifiable, well, at least in South East Asia. Sky Rink’s concept is quite unique. It is an egg-shaped rink surrounded by rows of restaurants and fast food chains. Located on the upper floor of the rink is a balcony where shoppers can view the rink from atop. This definitely creates a spectacle of its own for shoppers.

Lovers holding hands, kids learning how to skate, some of the more skillful ones showing off their skills which include jumping and spinning, and the more famous Axel Jumps, skills that would make one questions, upon observing, whether these kids have grown up in a country where there are icy lakes or rivers in abundance, or simply that they have just spent many hours of practice at Sky Rink. Indeed, Sky Rink also has an Ice Skating School for those who want to take proper skating lessons. The school is located adjacent to Sky Rink where beginners are taught proper techniques as well as warm-up and stretching. The school provides lessons to students ranging from preschoolers to adults.

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On Sunday evenings, Sky Rink is closed down to the public. After a brief scheduled maintenance where a Zamboni ice resurfacer smoothens the rink from bumps, the rink is then turned into a makeshift ice hockey rink. It is not an ideal rink because of the size and shape, but this is where four hockey teams, Dragons, Warriors, Knights, and Heroes, of the Indonesian Ice Hockey Association (IIHA) practice. The IIHA is made up of mixed players of locals and expats; locals who used to play the sports abroad, and expats who are mostly from European and North American countries. The practice usually attracts crowd of shoppers and local fans who come to the mall to watch their teams play. The sound of puck banging on dasher boards, skates screeching on the ice floor, and players shouting and barking commands at each other surely add a different flair of shopping experience to visitors.

/// Written by Jimmy Welles, Indonesia