British Ice Skating are on a mission, to make ice skating a more accessible sport for everyone. While a lot of work is going on behind the scenes British Ice Skating had the opportunity to work with other organisations to provide a free ice-skating session to over 150 students from local SEN schools. British Ice Skating held the day as part of their celebrations for World Ice Skating Day and partnered with Panathlon to host a Ice Skating Challenge. The day wouldn’t have been possible without the support of Panathlon, Sheffield City Trust and Links School Sport Partnership who all played vital roles in organising the visit.
The day was very successful as around 150 students got on the ice along with their members of staff. A large amount had never been skating before but picked up the skills quickly and built their confidence up over the session. The day was split up for Primary schools to attend in the morning and Secondary in the afternoon. Here’s what some of the students had to say:
Tyler aged 9 said
"Christmas has come early this year"
Emily aged 9 said:
“This is the second time I have ever been, I started off holding onto a penguin and now I can skate without one, that’s made me really happy!”
Each attendee got to take home a Panathlon certificate, a Christmas card and a voucher which allowed them to return to another session for free!
British Ice Skating called upon volunteers to help us run the day which involved helping the children changing into boots, running our desk, and assisting on the ice. A lot of volunteers supported the event, the majority coming from Sheffield Synchronised skating club who had a combination of on and off ice assistance, we also had volunteers attend from BIS who have most recently helped at our Grand Prix event last month.
Want to volunteer with BIS: https://www.iceskating.org.uk/volunteers
Dawn Wood (Sheffield City Trust and Links School Sport Partnership) had this to say about the event:
"The Ice Skating Event at Ice Sheffield was fully inclusive, the leaders were amazing, and we couldn't have done it without them.
The participants had a wonderful time learning a new skill and many progressed from using penguins to skating independently, they loved it and felt a real sense of achievement."
Andrew Hibberd EDI and Community Lead at British Ice Skating:
“It has been an honour to collaborate with such fantastic organisations to deliver a more accessible session of ice skating today. The day was full of smiles, laughter, and joy. Seeing people enjoying our sport is ultimately why we do, what we do. British Ice Skating are taking action to reduce the barriers in the sport, and this was a brilliant example of why it’s worth it.
Ice skating is about feeling free and enjoying yourself, no matter who you are or what your ability is. We would like to say a huge thank you to Panathlon, Sheffield City Trust and Links School Sport Partnership for making today a reality. Hopefully the first of many sessions making ice skating inclusive for all.”
Find out more about Panathlon and the great work they do here: https://panathlon.com/about/
These events give British Ice Skating the opportunity to learn more about disabled peoples experience when attending ice skating sessions. This will help us make more accessible and inclusive adjustments to BIS activities and the whole sports offer.
If you want to see what British
Ice Skating are doing in Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, check out our EDI page here: https://www.iceskating.org.uk/edi