by Lilyia Watson, Year 9
Update July 2019:
2019 has been a challenging year for Lilyia, working very hard to reach the level she needs to qualify for the British Ice Skating Championships in May 2020. She has had a couple of first places at open competitions, and next week has another competition with an exciting new programme of music. She has also done enough so far to gain entry to qualifiers in October 2019, where she needs to achieve a technical score of fifteen to qualify for the British Championships.
As well as her competitions, Lilyia has also been picked to train with Olympic gymnastics athlete Ross Graham, helping her with strengthening and flexibility off the ice. Her dedication to this sport is second to none and hopefully she will achieve her goal of qualifying for the national championships.
Update October 2018:
Lilyia continues to succeed in her figure skating, with success in Coventry back in June, where she achieved a second place, and more recently at the Skate Southern International, where she won her category. She continues to move up the ranks within this very competitive sport and we wish her every continued success.
Lilyia is also currently fundraising through her club for the Metro Radio ‘Cash for Kids’ Charity Sports Challenge, with her club competing against other clubs to raise as much money as possible to win more funding.
Original article by Lilyia when in Year 8:
I started skating at the age of six just for fun, but I was quickly approached by two coaches who wanted to take me for private lessons as they saw potential in me. I started to be coached by Allan Doran and joined the Polar Club at Whitley Bay Ice Rink, working towards all my badges and competing in local club competitions. When I got up to Freestyle Level 7 I left Polar Club and went on to join the fully skating club based at Whitley Bay. I started by just competing in the local events run by the club, climbing up the ranks and making the podium with second and first places, but in the last two years I have moved on to competing in National Competitions. The last year, with a lot of hard work and dedication, has been my best year yet, and all the hard work is now paying off with a second place in Sheffield and a recent first place at Murrayfield Ice Arena in Edinburgh, beating twenty six other skaters. I was also recently nominated by Whitley Bay as the female skater with the most potential, which was a great honour.
I train four times a week, three of which are arriving at the rink to train from 6am to 8.30am and then going to school. My training involves lots of practice and learning new elements and techniques that I need for my competition programmes. I now have two coaches, Allan Doran and David Richardson, who are both based at Whitley Bay. Not all of my training is on the ice – I also do off-ice work including exercises and strengthening of the muscles which is very important in figure skating.
My next competition is in Coventry in June, so I am currently working on a new programme and have new music to work to. I am also moving up to a new level in my training, with my goal to be selected to compete at the Junior British Championships in Sheffield at the end of the year. Iceskating is a very tough sport but I love it. Hopefully if I put in enough hard work with my coaches I will succeed in my goals.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank my coaches Allan Doran and David Richardson for all their patience, dedication and expertise, and also the support I have received from my family, without whom my iceskating wouldn’t be possible. I would also like to give a special mention to my dressmaker Fiona Buttery and to all my fellow skaters in our club family.