When you hear ice hockey it’s highly likely that you think of sweaty players dropping gloves. Although you’re not completely wrong, that’s not the main focus of the sport. Players’ hand and eye co-ordination needs to be well honed alongside good puck control and forward thinking to try and outsmart their rivals.
Let’s get personal: James, 25
How did you get into ice hockey? I grew up watching NHL and started playing during university.
Most challenging part of your sport? Trying to keep your kit ‘stench free’, it always smells no matter how many times you clean it!
What time and how often do you train? Late nights, twice a week.
What’s your long-term goal? To improve my net minding skills and earn my first shut-out. Then get some silverware in recreational games and tournaments.
What advice would you give your younger self? Listen to lots of different coaches, ask lots of questions and practice, practice, practice. You’ve never mastered a skill, there’s always room for improvement or changes to your game!
It’s in the name- SPEED! Apart from whizzing around at a jaw-dropping 30mph, speed skating takes nerve and commitment to get anywhere within the sport. From the ‘basic’ back-breaking position, to the immense muscular endurance, ‘challenging’ describes the sport perfectly. Unfortunately, short track funding was pulled this year, but that hasn’t stopped young hopefuls from working hard and pushing their bodies to new limits each day!
Let’s get personal: Rose, 18
How did you get into speed skating? Need for Speed testing with the old Short Track Academy in 2016.
Most challenging part of your sport? Developing the body’s ability to get into the position to skate; there’s always something to improve.
What time and how often do you train? Early evenings & late mornings, typically 4/5 times a week.
What’s your long-term goal? To go to the Winter Olympics.
What advice would you give your younger self? Don’t be scared to work on your weaknesses rather than avoiding them.
Elegance, grace, beauty and “how do you bend like that?” are just a few ways used to describe the art of figure skating. But before that stage, there’s a lot of bumps, falls and some crying on the journey to the top. We are home to over 100 figure skaters, the majority training within our Figure Skating Academy, each perfecting intricate step sequences, complex spins and difficult jumps before the rest of the UK has even had their breakfast!
Let’s get personal: Josh, 19
How did you get into figure skating? I watched Dancing on Ice and asked my parents if I could take skating lessons but I cried the first time I ever skated!
Most challenging part of your sport? The early mornings, coldness and getting up from continuous falls.
What time and how often do you train? 4-5 hours throughout the day, 6 days a week
What’s your long-term goal? To compete at the highest level possible and be my best self.
What advice would you give your younger self? To enjoy it and not take life too seriously, you never know how quickly things can change!