Tuesday, 27. September 2022

History of COS Torwar

First steps towards an ice rink

In 1953 in the capital after a huge press campaign, pressure of the whole public opinion and involvement of the highest sports authorities, in early January a decision was made: Warsaw will have its artificial ice rink. It will be built in a park between schools Agrykoli in Lazienkowska street, in place considered to be the best location for such object. This location took into account the natural slope as support for the audience (stands), and which was also a natural protection against warm winds. An important advantage of this location was a convenient connection with the city center and the vicinity of Legia's facilities.

The first quarter, the work consisted in reworking the old design of the ice rink by engineer Brzuchowski and adapting it to the existing needs. However, the patience of Warsaw skating fans (and not only Warsaw ones) was put to the test. After all the pompous announcements, they were impatiently waiting for the works to start soon, but unfortunately nothing like that happened and even though in the beginning of January the decision about the construction was made, silence reigned for a long time. The willingness was not matched by the ability and the relevant decisions took months, if not years, to gain "official force". Finally in May at the construction site of the Warsaw artificial ice rink something began to happen. Earthworks began, then work on the concrete slab and channel and construction of the engine room building. The Warsaw artificial ice rink began to take real shape.

 

Creation of a legendary facility

The first freezing of the artificial ice took place on 18 November 1953. Over the course of this historic operation for the Warsaw ice rink supervised ice-master Mutke brought specially from Stalinogród (then the name of Katowice). Under his watchful eye everything went well and the frozen ice sheet received a positive assessment. According to his assessment the Warsaw ice rink was characterized by greater freezing power, and the plate of ice was much better than Stalinogrodek (Katowice). On the next day, the first skaters appeared on the Warsaw rink: multiple Polish champion in speed skating J. Kalbarczyk, former Polish champion in figure skating B. Staniszewski, skaters A. Skrzetuska and E. Niemczykówna, as well as well-known Warsaw hockey players Franciszek Głowacki and Tadeusz Dolewski. All of them were delighted, and their opinion was most positive.

The official date of the ceremonial opening of the rink TORWAR was to be 3 January 1954, but it was decided to accelerate and the official opening ceremony was held on 12 December 1953. The first field hockey duel which took place on the Warsaw ice rink was a match between the Warsaw CWKS and Bydgoszcz Gwardia ended with the victory of military 12:3 (4:3, 2:0, 6:2). In turn, the first international game played on January 3, 1954 between CWKS and Dynamo Weisswasser, ended with the victory of the Polish team 6:5 (4:3;2:1;0:1). The first duel between the national teams was a lost 1:7 meeting between Poland and the USSR played on October 7, 1954.

 

TOR - from track, WAR - from Warsaw

"TORWAR played a significant role in the history of Polish field hockey. It was a place not only for skating rinks for the citizens of Warsaw, but also for training camps of club teams, national team, a place of many league and international meetings of Polish national teams.

After many years of continuous activity and organization of a huge number of sport events, fairs, concerts, exhibitions, conferences it was decided to modernize the old hall "TORWAR". The rebuilt hall was put back into use on 26 November 1999. After modernization "TORWAR" still hosts and is the venue for the largest sporting events, music concerts, and trade fairs in Poland. The old building of COS Torwar hall was joined by the second object COS Torwar II Ice rink, which currently plays a major role to guarantee the possibility of training for athletes of winter sports.

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