In pictures: Skaters descend on Glasgow's Queen's Park pond
We’re only three days into the new year, but already 2021 is looking a bit more hopeful - especially if you happen to ice skate.
The freezing temperatures proved to be far from an inconvenience to ice skaters around Glasgow, who flocked to a frozen pond in Queens Park this weekend to get their skating fix after months of restrictions saw the closures of ice rinks across Scotland.
“It was great because rinks have been closed and the weather’s prohibited roller hockey. I only started playing again last year after an 18 year break,” says local ice hockey player Paul who was one of the first people on the ice at 8am on Sunday morning.
“Today was really nice, everyone was really chilled out and just excited to be back on the ice again.”
Student and hockey player Sophie, 23, who was at the pond before sunrise, said, “Since March I’ve only been able to skate a handful of times, let alone play hockey, and as this is usually such a big part of my life and a way I de-stress, it’s been difficult not being able to do something I love.
“Rinks have been closed since March, so everyone was clearly very excited to have the opportunity to put their skates back on.”
Professional ice hockey players could also be seen playing a friendly game with members of the public, including Fife Flyers player Bari McKenzie and Glasgow Clan players Matt Haywood and Craig Peacock, who tweeted about their experience.
Musician and goalie Matthew Gibb reflected: “Getting to play alongside professional players was an experience of a lifetime. Today was a massive breath of fresh air. Being there from the break of dawn and seeing the place come to life was one of the best experiences.”
But not everyone rose early for the occasion, by midday on Sunday, rows of spectators had formed around the lake to watch hockey players pass pucks and figures skaters make spectacular spins.
Sophie added: “It’s a great promotion for the sport; there were different hockey players of all ages and abilities within the local community. There were a lot of walkers passing by who were able to see how good hockey can be.”
Most skaters were socially distanced and with their families, but this proved difficult to maintain as the park got busier in the later hours of the day.