Ice rink boss ‘top businesswoman’

Krystyna Rogers with her award.
Krystyna Rogers with her award.

A Hartshead woman has won an award for her hard effort and determination in reopening the Silver Blades Ice Rink in Bradford.

Krystyna Rogers, 65, was awarded the Sue Ryder Yorkshire women of achievement business award at Leeds Royal Armouries this month.

She reopened the rink in 1991 just six weeks after it closed down.

She said: “The closure was a serious concern. Nobody was doing anything about it and Bradford City Council said it would cost £2m to bring back.”

Without Bradford, the nearest rink was either Sheffield or Blackburn and Krystyna thought that travelling all that way with her then five-year-old daughter was impossible.

She met with the chairman of Rank Leisure to express her concern and later negotiated a private takeover under a lease.

Starting her company from scratch, Mrs Rogers now employs around 40 people.

However her journey has not always been easy and without any business experience it was an enormous task.

Her first company went into liquidation in 1995 and she sadly lost her daughter Emily in 2005, who died suddenly at the age of 26. Krystyna was left to bring up Emily’s son, now aged eight, whilr continuing to run her business.

Mrs Rogers said: “Emily was a very promising rising figure skating star who motivated me to bring the rink back to life.

“Every time I visit the rink I know she is still there for me. It keeps me going.”

Krystyna hopes that the award will put her in the spotlight and bring her some funding so she can give the ice rink a makeover and get more sign posts to the building.