After 30 years in the pumping and power industry business Ice Aid founder Tony Boynton found himself suddenly unemployed at 45 and wondering where to move next.
That route took him to newly formed company Hockey NonStop who were trading in the supply of ice hockey equipment and jerseys. Having been involved in ice hockey for over 28 yrs and with a vast array of contacts it seemed a logical next move to combine a proven sales record with a dearly loved sport.
Just a month after starting, a cursory glance in a local free paper advised of an ice rink coming to local town Middlesbrough and this seemed to offer an outlet for the sale of Hockey NonStops’ products.
A meeting with the local council scratched that idea as it was only to be a temporary rink and did not need a retail outlet. However further discussions with the council proved to be positive as they asked Tony to look at managing the Xmas rink due to his engineering and skating skills.
That was the first step, a winter run with the steepest of learning curves as outdoor ice rinks were in their infancy. With only 4 rinks in the country that Xmas everybody was learning to cope with outdoor ice rink operation.
Middlesbrough proved to be a great success and Leeds City Council having visited all the operating rinks asked Tony to come and oversee their first rink in Millenium Square set to open in the January of 2001. That was to be the start of a 15 yr partnership with Leeds City Council that is still running. For 3 yrs Hockey NonStop operated temporary rinks but whilst the Ice Rinks under Tony’s guidance were doing well, the parent companies hockey sales were struggling resulting in the business closing down in April 2004.
Unexpectedly unemployed again Tony looked at the success he had enjoyed with the ice rinks and decided to go it alone forming Ice Aid as a sole trader.
Having already learnt an awful lot from the hands on at 10 temporary rinks Tony decided that to deliver the best service possible and to meet the exacting standards of many councils that further qualifications would be necessary.
With nothing in the UK available Tony travelled to America and studied under a STAR (serving the American rinks) course and qualified as a CIT (Certified Ice Technician). The knowledge obtained from the course, combined with the engineering background, helped develop many ways of delivering a successful rink management package and as a member of IRMA (Ice Rink Managers Association) Tony was also instrumental in writing the safe operations procedure for outdoor rinks.
As of 2018 Tony thought about retiring completely and leaving the world of outdoor Ice Rinks behind, but his passion was stilll alive and he brought Beth and Curt on board with the company to take the helm. The following year Ice Aid expanded overseas and worked in the Middle East on 2 outdoor Ice Rinks alongside a number of UK based projects. Ice Aid continues to grow and welcome any new or old opportunities that may come their way.
Having managed projects in the major cities of London, Manchester, Bristol, Dublin, Bolton, Leeds and now KSA, Ice Aid have a wealth of experience and many people that can be approached for references.
Projects Ice Aid has been involved in Management of Bolton Outdoor Ice Rink 2012-2020
Management of Leeds Ice Cube 2001-2020
Management of Cribbs Causeway Bristol 2006-2008 Management of Manchester 2007-2010
Management of York 2006-2020
Management of Swinton 2008-2009
Management of Folkestone 2007 Management of Torquay 2004 Management of Middlesbrough Ice Magic 2000-2002
Ice maintenance team in Saudi Arabia (Riyadh and Diriyah) 2019-2020
Management of Workington Ice Festival 2002-2006
Consultant for Aria Ice 2002 at; Durham, South Shields, Newcastle, Rochdale Management of Bournemouth Ice Festival Jul-Aug 2003, Jul-Aug 2005 Jul-Aug 2009 Ice side manager for Smithfield on Ice Dublin 2004-2005
Ice Engineer for Ice Associates 2005
Building and maintaining rinks at; Somerset House, Kew Gardens, Milton Keynes, Birmingham and Bristol.
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