A young Wivenhoe-based trio of siblings attended an invite last week from their Mayor to an Annual Town Meeting, in recognition of their contribution and dedication to figure skating.
Alexandra, 16, Elliot,14 and Edward, 12, have been fanatical about figure skating since early childhood.
The siblings, who train six days a week at Riverside Ice and Leisure in Chelmsford, have made their mark at local, national and international competitions.
But it was 16 year old Alex who lead the way when she picked up skating in 2008, inspiring her young brothers to do the same.
All three began competing at beginner level in 2011, seeing success at local and then national events, with Alexandra placing 5th at her first competition at the Lee Valley Open.
Ed placed 1st less than a year later at the Skate Southern Club International, and by this time Elliot had also progressed to place 1st in the Level One Men’s Event at the Bracknell Open.
By 2014 all had qualified for the NISA Development Squad, and by 2015 Ed and Elliot were taking part in their first international events.Elliot placed 1st in the in the Novice A Boys event at the Volvo Cup in Riga, Latvia, whilst Ed placed 5th in the Cubs event at the Rooster Cup in Paris
Since then the two have competed at multiple internationals and travelled to various destinations, including Andorra, Belgium and The Netherlands.
Alexandra qualified twice for the British Championships in 2014 and 2015. But during the summer of 2015 began to experience recurring back injuries during training.
Her injuries were resolved with physio and some rest but inevitably a disappointed Alex withdrew from a number of competitions during 2015 and 2016.
In August she sustained another injury to her ankle during training, which again left her unable to train and compete for several months.
This year she was finally able to resume training and has even achieved personal best’s at three consecutive competitions since the beginning of January. She also took two podium places at the Skate Souther Club International in March.
The skating trio were then invited to attend an Annual Town Meeting with the Mayor, where their hard work and success was recognised with a special presentation.
Linda Appleby, mum of Alex, Elliot and Ed said: “It’s been fantastic watching the three develop and thrive over the years through skating.
“It all started with weekly classes, but it’s come to encompass their daily life and all three are determined to keep achieving their goals.
“They want to develop as athletes, but Alex is also keen to share her knowledge and experiences with new skaters, so she volunteers to assist with group courses every weekend.
“For them to be recognised in their local community like this is really special, and will no doubt spur them on to keep achieving their best.
“Their lifelong coaches John Wicker and Jane Faux, who have assisted with their training since the trio began competing, have always encouraged and supported them to reach their full potential.
"Alex, Elliot and Ed have also been fortunate to benefit from the input of a number of other professionals, who have helped them along the way to develop their skills both on and off the ice.
“They continue to benefit from extraordinary experiences through figure skating, which is undoubtedly equipping them with the life skills they will always carry with them.”