By Ethan Marshall
The Great Neck Park District Board of Commissioners reviewed and passed a proposal that will set specific guidelines for banners to be installed at the Andrew Stergiopoulos Ice Rink during Thursday’s meeting.
The policy will affect rink skating and hockey program participants, both individually and as teams and employees of the Park District.
According to Park District Superintendent Jason Marra, individuals must meet specific criteria in order to be deserving of a banner.
These individuals must “be or have been a resident of the Great Neck Park District or a resident of the greater Great Neck community, or an employee of the Great Neck Park District and qualify for the Olympics or United States Figure Skating National Championship, or be selected to represent either the United States in a qualified International Skating Union international competition or a nation other than the United States in the ISU World Championships.”
Other ways individuals may be able to get banners would be by finishing in the top three of an ISU Competition in synchronized ice, either as a member of a team or by themselves, or finishing in the top three at the U.S. National Solo Dance Championships.
For a team to be recognized, it must be sponsored by the Great Neck Park District and, in the case of hockey teams, win the division or league championship in the Long Island Hockey League or New York State Atlantic Hockey Association Tournament. Synchronized ice teams must win the New York Empire State Games in order to earn recognition.
Under the policy, Marra and the Board of Commissioners have the power to remove a banner if they deem it to be in the best interests of the Park District. Additionally, teams or individuals from the past who didn’t get banners at the ice rink but meet the new criteria will be worthy of a banner for their accomplishments, achievements or contributions to the ice facility.
According to Marra, he and his staff are currently working on putting together a list of eligible skaters and teams that fit the new criteria, and plan to honor them.
“We want to make this a community event to honor not only the individual but what the Andrew Stergiopoulos Ice Rink means to many people in the community,” Marra said.
Marra said the policy was first considered over six months ago. Since then he had been working hard on writing the policy.
“I received a great deal of assistance and input from residents and my professional skating staff, including the Park District Skate School directors,” he said.