by Lilyia Watson, 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.