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NEW LEARN TO SKATE PROGRAMME PROVIDES OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOUNG PEOPLE WITH LEARNING DISABILITIES
Wed 17 December 14

The National Ice Centre and the Nottingham City Council are proud to announce a new skating programme for young people with learning disabilities. ‘Skate Inclusive’ launching in January 2015 and funded by Sportivate, is the first of its kind in the UK.

Skate Inclusive, devised by the Ice Sports Development Team at the National Ice Centre, will provide new opportunities for young people with learning disabilities aged 11-25 years and will help them learn to skate with the support of qualified coaches, ice assistants and adapted equipment over a six-week period.

Matt Bradbury, Sports Development Officer at the National Ice Centre said: “We’re very excited to have been awarded funding from Sportivate. An opportunity like this will enable us to build on the disabled inclusion sessions that are already taking place but ultimately allow us to devise specific levels which will encourage disabled people to learn a new skill and take to the ice with confidence.

“We believe this programme may be something that could be delivered across the country in other ice rinks.”

The courses will teach fundamental skills and are the perfect starting point for anyone to get on the ice and begin ice skating. All places on Skate Inclusive are funded by Sportivate so the courses are free of charge to participants.

Six-week group session courses will take place on the following dates:

Monday 5th January – Monday 9th February 2015 (12pm-12:30pm)
Monday 23rd February – Monday 30th March 2015 (12:30pm – 1pm)

Individual sessions are also available. If you wish to find out more details or book a place, please contact Janet Wass, the National Ice Centre’s Sports Development Administrator on 0115 8533010 or at Janet.wass@national-ice-centre.com

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TOP FOUR FINISH FOR CHRISTIE IN SHANGHAI
Mon 15 December 14

Great British short track speed skaters, Elise Christie and Jack Whelbourne were back in action at the weekend (Friday 12th – Sunday 14th December) for the Asian leg of the ISU World Cup series, as it made its way to Shanghai. There were some good performances from the skaters and whilst they didn’t medal, there was a top four finish from Elise in the 500m.

Christie finished fourth in 500m after a good performance in the quarter and semi finals where she came first and second respectively, but she fell in the final and finished behind bronze medallist, Korean Alang Kim.
Christie just missed out on a place in the 1000m semi finals after coming in a split second behind China’s Jiaying Tao in a time of 1minute, 32.29seconds, putting her in 12th place overall.

Performance Director, Stuart Horsepool commented: “It was unfortunate that Elise fell in the 500m final but short track speed skating can be very unpredictable, and falls are a common occurrence in the sport.

“The expectation this weekend was for Jack and Elise to go out to Asia and develop their racing skills, but they’re not at the height of their performance at the moment. Both Jack and Elise have been training hard, but they have had to sacrifice several weeks of training in order to compete in Asia. From a performance perspective, it was much more valuable for them to spend time competing against the rest of the world as opposed to training on home ice”.

After falling in the qualifying rounds on Friday (12th December), Whelbourne had a promising start in both 1000m and 1500m repechage heats, finishing in first place in both events. He just missed out on a place in the 1000m semi final when he finished second in the repechage semi final, coming in just behind Canada’s Samuel Girard with a time of 2minutes, 19.10seconds.

Stuart said: “I’m pleased with Jack’s performance this weekend as he’s shown a lot of grit and determination. He came back fighting from his falls on Friday and skated extremely well in the repechage quarter and semi finals. To have missed out on qualifying was bad luck, as Jack raced the semi final in a very strong time. Unfortunately, only the fastest two skaters from each race in the repechage semi finals go on to qualify for the final. If qualifications were decided on both semi final heats in the repechage rounds, Jack would have sailed through as he was much quicker than the skaters in the other race”.

Whelbourne flew through the 1000m repechage events too, where he finished in first position in both the quarter and semi finals, which secured him a place in the quarter final. He just missed out on a place in the semi final to finish 12th overall.

Stuart added: “Before heading out to Asia, Jack and Elise both had to try and cram six weeks worth of training into just two weeks, so they are fatigued at the moment. They have coped well here and even though they might not have medalled, we are not concerned with their form. I expect that they will do better in Seoul next weekend, but we need to take the whole season into account and our focus remains fixed on preparing for next year’s Championships. ”

The pair will now be looking to improve on their positions as they turn their focus to next weekend’s ISU World Cup in Seoul, South Korea.

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JUNIOR BRITISH SPEED SKATERS SHINE IN STAR CLASS COMPETITION
Tue 09 December 14

This weekend (5th to 7th December) the British Short Track speed skating junior team had a successful weekend competing in the second Star Class of the season. Young skaters, Jack Burrows and Jennifer Pickering shone this weekend with both athletes bringing home medals.

Nottingham born skater, Jack Burrows was the star of the weekend claiming two Silver medals in the Men’s Junior B, 500m and 1500m. His top class performance over the weekend also landed him with a further victory, taking second place in the Men’s Junior B overall classification.

Stuart Horsepool, Performance Director said: “I’m very pleased with how well Jack skated this weekend and overall, it was his best performance to date. He has put a lot of hard work in to his training and it’s great to see it paying off for him.”

Jennifer Pickering also had a successful weekend skating her way to a Bronze medal in the Ladies 1500m final. Pickering also placed sixth overall in Ladies Junior A classification. Senior skaters, Farrell Treacy and Murray Cochrane also did well this weekend with both skaters finishing in the top 8 overall in the Men’s competitions.

Stuart added: “Overall the skaters did well and I’m happy with their performance considering that some of the junior skaters haven’t been competing at an international level for very long. The fact that they are bringing home medals at this early stage is very encouraging and I’ll look forward to seeing how they do for the rest of the season.”

The next Star Class event will be taking place from 9th to 11th January right here in Nottingham. The National Ice Centre will be hosting the international event for the first time giving the public an opportunity to watch the elite skaters compete at their home rink. Tickets are available via the Capital FM arena website here.

Jack Whelbourne and Elise Christie will be back competing in the ISU World Cup 3 in Shanghai, China from 13th to 15th December.

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BUCKLAND & SMART WIN NATIONAL TITLE AT BRITISH FIGURE SKATING CHAMPIONSHIPS
Tue 02 December 14

This weekend (29th and 30th November) saw the exciting conclusion of one of the biggest and most important events in the UK figure skating calendar – the 2014 British Figure Skating Championships – which took place in Sheffield.

Five days of competitions saw some of the most talented figure skaters from all corners of the UK compete for the national titles. Olivia Smart and partner Joe Buckland (who train at the National Ice Centre) were form favourites to win the Senior Ice Dance programme with the absence of reigning champions, Nick Buckland and partner Penny Coomes who were competing in Japan. Last year Smart and Buckland were crowned National Junior Ice Dance Champions and this year the pair won the National title as Seniors.

Smart and Buckland weren’t the only figure skating talent competing in Sheffield this week. Skaters from all corners of the UK delivered top class performances that allowed them to claim national titles over the five day event. National Ice Centre highlights include:

The final results of the Junior Men’ competitions saw Graham Newberry of Lee Valley take the Gold medal and the National title with a score of 164.62. In second place was Nottingham’s Josh Brown who finished with a score of 134.74.

Saturday saw the start of the popular Ice Dance programmes, Junior Dance partners Ekaterina Fedyushchenko and Lucas Kitteridge of NISA, finished the weekend with a Gold medal winning score of 96.58. Nottingham’s Robynne Tweedale and Edward Carstairs claimed Silver with a score of 87.78.

Alistair Wilson, Technical Director at NISA said: “The level of competition has been outstanding this year and we saw a great demonstration of the talent that exists amongst the UK’s top skaters. It has been great to watch the competitions take place and to see the skaters who have worked very hard this season, take national titles.”

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