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Behind the scenes with Skate UK

NISA is always keen to get new skaters on board in the sport, and have recently become a commercial partner of the Sport England ‘This Girl Can’ campaign, a promotion to encourage more women and girls to get active and into sport. With Skate UK programmes on offer at a number of ice rinks across the UK, anyone can learn to skate, no matter what their ability.

We caught up with Ella Glenn-Buchanan, an 18-year-old student from Derbyshire who attends Skate UK lessons at IceSheffield. Here’s what she had to say:

  • Explain a little about Skate UK lessons

I have learnt how to skate from being a complete beginner on Skate UK. When I started I was barely able to stand up on skates but now I can skate confidently and perform skills such as a variety of jumps and spins.

The programme is really good at pushing you to improve, without each level seeming too much for you. At the moment I am learning a new spin called a backspin and a new jump called a toe loop.

I have two group lessons a week which are gold free and gold dance, an academy session once a week where I work on my skills with other skaters, and a one-to-one private lesson once a week too. There are always more classes and times to practice at IceSheffield which is really good because it means that learning to skate can fit in with everything else that is going on.

  • What made you join the Skate UK programme at your local ice rink?

I have been doing a variety of dance styles since I was 4, but I wanted to try and learn something new, so I chose ice skating. The Skate UK programme seemed really good at supporting people that had never skated before and improving confidence on ice.

  • How are you finding the lessons so far?

Learning how to skate on Skate UK has made me very happy and given me something to focus on outside of school work. I really enjoy all the lessons I attend and all the coaches are very supportive and help me to achieve everything that I can.

  • Do you think you will continue to skate after the programme has come to an end?

Yes, I want to carry on and do my NISA levels and keep learning new things. I want to move onto NISA level one and do ice dance, and hopefully in the future try ice dance pairs. I have enjoyed learning all the new things on Skate UK so far and the achievement I feel when I learn something new, so I want to carry it on.

Rebecca Mayo, NISA level 2 Qualified Coach who previously coached Ella, said: “A typical Skate UK session at IceSheffield involves a warm up that mobilises the joints to prevent injury and prepares the skaters mentally for the lesson. The skaters will then spend around 35 minutes working through five elements, with group demonstrations and one-to-one guidance from the coach.

“IceSheffield is currently experiencing the highest number of skaters taking part in the Skate UK syllabus for five years, with around an eighty percent pass rate from taking the six week classes.”

For more information on Skate UK lessons, click here.

29th April 2015