IW skaters in the news


The Isle of Wight County Press published two stories about IW skaters in its 29 August edition.

The charity gala in aid of Cardiac Risk in the Young featured in the news pages and online, and is viewable at www.iwcp.co.uk. The gala, held in memory of Gemma Quew, raised £875.

IW skaters’ performance at Dundee was reported in the sports news, and the clipping is pictured above. Update: The story has now been reported on the IWCP website.

The 8 August edition of the IWCP also featured the story iowskaters.com ran on Gemma Marsh and Team Surprise on 1 August, and mentioned again in the Dundee report.

The Isle of Wight skating club reports that the  following skaters passed NISA tests at Ryde on 1 September 2014:

Field Moves

Level 1: James Wright
Level 2: Oliver Brunton, Holly Eldridge
Level 3: Lauren Wood
Level 5: Miles Grist

Free & Elements

Level 1: James Wright
Level 2: Oliver Brunton

This information is posted on the club’s Facebook page, rather than its website, and is subject to confirmation by NISA.


Touring ice show The Professionals on Ice comes to Planet Ice Ryde on 24 and 25 October. The show is touring selected Planet Ice and Silver Blades rinks in the autumn, and moves on from Ryde to Basingstoke, Cardiff, Coventry, Widnes, Altrincham and Milton Keynes.

The cast includes professional skaters from ITV show Dancing on Ice plus celebrity guests. The skating team includes Matt Evers, Sylvain Longchambon, Robin Johnstone, Mark Hanretty, Alexandra Schauman, Andy Buchanan, Maria Filippov, Lukasz Rozycki, Brianne Delcourt, Vicky Ogden and Michael Zenezini, although the cast at each show may vary.

Arena seats are priced at £15 and £20,  and there are family and group tockets, plus some premium up close and meet and greet options.

Tickets can be booked at http://www.theprofessionalsonice.co.uk or venue box offices.

Link: www.theprofessionalsonice.co.uk

Dundee Opens 2014

Dundee Opens took place from 15 to 17 August at Dundee Ice Arena, and a small band of IW skaters headed north to take part.

Toni Delap competed in the level 3 ladies, scoring 15.57 for ninth place. Will Riley was second in the level 3 men with 11.96.

Nikita Heathfield was 18th in the level 9 ladies short programme, scoring 23.32. She was also 18th in the long with a score of 44.02. The scores were fantastic for Nikita, who smashed her personal best.

Archie Bicknell was third in the level 9 men’s short with 15.55 and 3rd in the long with 31.97.

Results: www.sk8scotland.org.uk/Results/DISCOpen2014/

Link: www.dundeeiceskatingclub.co.uk


Isle of Wight ice skater Gemma Marsh followed her dreams of competing at the highest level in synchronized skating today by flying out to Gothenburg to join the world-renowned Team Surprise.

The 20-year-old fitness instructor from Freshwater has known since May that she had secured a place on Sweden’s top senior synchronized skating team after successfully completing a week’s trial.

Landvetter-based Team Surprise are legendary in synchronized skating. Founded in 1985, Surprise have won the senior world championships a number of times, including the first championships in Minneapolis in 2000 and most recently in Gothenburg in 2012. Many of their original moves, created by team coach Andrea Dohany, have evolved into many of today’s familiar elements in synchronized skating.

Gemma said: “Today I will be arriving in Gothenburg, the city that will be my home for the next three or so years! I will be living my dream skating with the amazing Team Surprise, a team I have idolized for many years now. It hasn’t quite sunk in yet!

“I want to thank everyone who has supported me through all my years of skating and especially in the run up and preparation for my new journey. I’m so excited to be starting my new journey.”

Ryde head coach Terri Smith said: “I wish Gemma all the best with her new adventure and congratulate her on following her dream and working hard to go and train with Team Surprise in Sweden.

“We will all miss her loads , but I can’t tell you how proud I am of her – an Island girl skating with one of the best synchro teams in the world.
I’m so lucky to have taught her for the past eight years or so – she’s a true role model and great person.”

Gemma first took to the ice at the age of four, taking group lessons at Streatham ice rink under the tutelage of none other than four-times World and European champion Diane Towler-Green. She moved to the Isle of Wight at the age of five and had a successful solo free skating career at Ryde under coach Anita Curtis. With the formation of the first Isle of Wight synchronized skating team, Wight Diamonds, in 2004 she discovered the discipline that was to capture her heart and lead to four British junior championships gold medals as a member and later co-captain of the Wight Jewels. Coached by Terri Smith, the Jewels went on to compete internationally and represent Great Britain at three junior world championships.

It is not the first time a British skater has skated for Sweden. Stephanie Humphreys of Basingstoke senior team Storm skated for Team Boomerang of Gothenburg a few years ago. Team Surprise also have skaters from Finland and Japan on their strength, and teams can field a proportion of non-nationals. But as far as iowskaters.com knows, Gemma is the first British skater to join Surprise.

Happy days with British junior champions Wight Jewels

Happy days with British junior champions Wight Jewels


The National Team Challenge (NTC) is under way today (6 July) at Lee Valley ice rink, east London. Clubs fielding teams at this year’s event include Alexandra Palace, Basingstoke, Bracknell, Chelmsford, Isle of Wight, Lee Valley and Slough. Members of the IW team were up at 4am today for the trip to Lee Valley.

Clubs compete in a selection of free skating, ice dance, synchro and artistic groups, plus a compulsory show number. The show number is for Isle of Wight skaters sometimes their first experience of competing on the mainland, and allows them to compete yet have the support of other members of the club. Teams score points based on their finishing position in each group, and with seven teams competing this year, 1st place in each group will score 7 points and 7th place 1 point. Groups can be lightly or heavily contested, leading to easy or hard-won points, which is both the charm of the NTC scoring system and part of the art of doing well at the event. It’s important to note that all calculations about maximizing points from small group sizes fail if one team can outright win in every group through the quality of its skating.

The Isle of Wight has never won the National Team Challenge, but has in the recent past has performed well overall for a club of its small size, finishing second in 2011 and third in 2012 and 2013.  In 2013 its show number, Cats, was first; the first time it came top in this group was in 2007 with Phantom of the Opera.

iowskaters will be publishing the results of IW skaters throughout the day. Positions of IW skaters and podium places currently reported are as follows:

Synchronized skating: 1st Isle of Wight, 2nd Lee Valley, 3rd Bracknell

Female beginners: 1st Saphire Recalde-Arnold (IW), 2nd Jayde Young (Slough), 3rd Bethan Rees (Bracknell)
Male beginners: 1st Ennis Finnerty-Mackay (AP), 2nd Max Hall (Bracknell), 3rd James Wright (IW)

Female level 3 and under: 1st Layla Belanova (AP), 2nd Charli Gillard (Basingstoke), 3rd Sophia Bushell (Lee Valley), 4th Toni Delap (IW)
Male level 3 and under: 1st Robert Beale (Chelmsford), 2nd Nathan Todd Smith (Basingstoke), 3rd Will Riley (IW)

Female level 5 and under: 1st Georgina Csori (Lee Valley), 2nd Callie Brown (Slough), 3rd Chloe Curtin (Chelmsford)
Male level 5 and under: 1st Curtis Bushell (Lee Valley), 2nd Jack Hookey (Slough), 3rd Edward Appleby (Chelmsford)

Female level 8 and under:  1st Rei Yoshimoto (Lee Valley), 2nd Caitlin Marsh (Basingstoke), 3rd Sian Moynihan (Chelmsford)
Male level 8 and under: 1st Sam Tudgay (Basingstoke)

Solo free dance Juvenile and Basic Novice: 1st Bettina Hanlon (Slough), 2nd Eloise Simmonds (Bracknell)
Solo free dance Advanced Novice: 1st Callie Brown (Slough), 2nd Chloe Arthur (Bracknell), 3rd Julia Makejeva (AP), 4th Amy World (IW)
Solo short dance Junior and Senior: 1st Lilah Fear (AP), 2nd Bethany Armitage (Bracknell), 3rd Maria Holdcroft (IW)

Dance couples level 6 and under: 1st Nina Lindsay and Michael Canning (Slough)
Dance couples veterans: Hana Conor and Brian Connor (AP)

Solo exhibition level 2 and under: 1st Stephanie Sundier (AP), 2nd Paige Lepley (Chelmsford), 3rd Jane Nelhams (Bracknell)
Solo exhibition level 8 and under: 1st Michael Canning (Slough), 2nd Caitlin Marsh (Basingstoke), 3rd Yasmin Tilly (AP)

2s to 4s artistic: 1st Alexandra Palace, 2nd Lee Valley , 3rd Isle of Wight

Show number: 1st Lee Valley, 2nd Basingstoke, 3rd Isle of Wight

Overall: 1st Alexandra Palace, 56 points; 2nd Lee Valley, 51 points; 3rd Slough, 51 points; 4th Basingstoke, 48 points; 5th Isle of Wight, 47 points; 6th Bracknell, 43 points; 7th Chelmsford, 42 points. Lee Valley were placed 2nd and Slough were placed 3rd on a tie-breaker.

Results are subject to confirmation. Thanks to all reporters for providing updates.

There is no active website or online presence for the NTC.



The following skaters are reported to have passed NISA tests at Ryde on 3 July 2014:

Field Moves

Level 1:  Oliver Brunton , Rachael Downer
Level 3: William Riley
Level 4: Toni Delap, Saphire Recalde-Arnold
Level 7: Roxy Collins
Level 9: Keelin Scholes

Free & Elements

Level 1: Oliver Brunton, Saphire Recalde-Arnold
Level 3: Rhiannon Hudson, William Riley

This information is subject to confirmation by NISA.


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