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The Isle of Wight Ice Dance & Figure Skating Club named not one but two skaters of the month for September: Eloise Hayward and Sophia Elliott.

Both girls have a fantastic attitude to their skating and are really committed: they have helped with fundraising events, supported teammates, helped out when needed, they both skate in three IW synchro teams – Eloise is captain of Wight Sequins, encouraging the younger members, and Sophia is captain of the Wight Sparkles.

Eloise was bitterly disappointed when her competition day was cancelled at Guildford earlier this year but was a true friend and good sport when she stayed to support Arwen the following day and cheered her on. She competed in the group artistic in Gosport, claiming gold with pirates and then went on to the championships in Coventry and got a bronze. In August, Eloise took part in the Young Stars competition at Sheffield Ice Arena, it was her first ladies level 1 competition and she scored a personal best but more importantly she received a young star of the day award for her creativity, entertainment and skating with her We are the Kids of America routine, this was awarded out of 42 people. She has also passed her level 4 field moves, had a great skate at Lee Valley recently flying the flag for the IW. What really shines through with Eloise is her love of skating and her team spirit, she was suffering with a terrible ear infection last synchro season and had bouts of dizziness but was determined not to let her team mates down, often leaving training an awful green colour.

Sophia is always a pleasure to watch skating. She has been training hard, skate in three synchro teams, and trains early Saturday morning at Guildford as well. This dedication has shone through with her results this year, she skated brilliantly in Guildford earlier this year and won gold for her artistic at Gosport with her Wizard of Oz routine, which secured her a well deserved bronze at the Coventry artistic championships. Sophia recently took part in a ladies level 2 competition at Lee Valley with her Footloose routine and got a very creditable 4th out of 16 in the under 11 section with a personal best score and passing her level 3 free and elements.

Achievements aside Sophia is always trying her best and wanting to improve, she is truly a dedicated skater, she danced her way around the Isle of Wight day parade last week even though she had been up since 3am for training that day.

Well done Eloise and Sophia, you deserve it.

Eloise (left) and Sophia

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Last month, synchro teams from across England and Scotland were invited to join a Synchronized Skating Development Camp in SportScotland’s brand new national residential Inverclyde National Sports Centre.

At the camp, top international coaches would share their expertise alongside experts from Scottish gymnastics, ballet, and strength and conditioning. It was billed as an exciting, dynamic and exhausting three-day programme, with ice sessions at KA Leisure’s ice rink and off-ice sessions in the state-of-the-art indoor studios and gymnastics facilities within Inverclyde. It certainly delivered on expectations.

Eleven synchro skaters representing Wight Sequins, Sparkles, Crystals and Jewels, flew to Scotland to take part, learn and then bring back that knowledge to share with their team-mates to help improve over the coming season.

Martha Bryant, Roxy Collins, Izzy Curtis,  Jess Curtis, Izzy Davey, Rachael Downer, Sophia Elliott, Eloise Hayward, Courtney Lane, Elin Griffiths and Anneliese Smith, accompanied by team coach Terri Smith and Sarah Hayward, started the camp on Sunday afternoon with a welcome from organiser Kate Matthews and from ISU synchro committee chair Chris Buchanan, followed by a nutritious lunch, before starting an afternoon learning about the components of fitness, performance and the grade of execution and performance. Skaters then settled into their rooms and after dinner, there was a fun synchro quiz where all the different clubs got together in mixed teams to compete against the ‘coaches’ team!

It was an early start next morning with the first of two excellent on ice sessions for the older skaters being led by the Finnish senior synchro coach teaching travelling circles and wheels, as well as intersections (whip and angled). Meanwhile, the younger skaters were learning off-ice pair lifts and tricks with an international principal adagio pair, followed by Olympic lifting. It was then ice time for them, learning pivoting lines and blocks level 2 and move elements.

After lunch, it was a packed afternoon including ballet, a timing and unison session, off ice elements, and workshops on calling elements and specifications. Unfortunately, also that afternoon and into the evening, five of the younger skaters became unwell, which meant they were unable to join in the camp on the last day.

The Jewels skaters did though, enjoying acro gymnastics, pilates and another on ice session focusing on pivoting lines and blocks levels 3 and 4, and pairs tricks, spins and lifts.

The team flew home that evening having had an excellent camp (even for those who had been unwell) in what were excellent facilities, well organised and full of amazing new things to learn both on and off the ice. Definitely worth signing up for next year! In the meantime, Terri and the skaters will work with all the teams in sharing the learning for the coming synchro season.

Link: https://sportscotland.org.uk

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Courtney Lane

 Courtney Lane is our skater of the month. She was nominated by Sarah Hayward, Terri Smith and several of her team mates because she has shown tremendous maturity and kindness to her fellow team members both on and off the ice.

In Scotland, at August’s ISU synchronized skating development camp, the skaters were placed in one of three groups and although Courtney was not in her preferred group, she approached each session over the next few days with enthusiasm, hard work and a smile, while showing leadership to the younger skaters. Then, when a number of skaters became ill at the camp, she helped with their care, remaining calm and patient and accommodating their needs.

Courtney’s vivacious personality is always well liked by her fellow team skaters and her recent maturity and kindness in Scotland adds to her strengths.

Courtney is one of the skaters that has to train late Friday night and early Sunday morning following the closure of Ryde rink. She is always smiling even if it’s the 4am ferry and always speaks to everyone and encourages the younger skaters.

Courtney will receive a free patch session for a rink of her choice.

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The Isle of Wight Ice Dance & Figure Skating Club’s skater of the month for July 2017 is: Beth Howarth. Synchronized skater Beth left for Australia in August to join Team Nova. The announcement was made at Beth’s leaving party on 29 July.

 

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The final of Planet Ice’s Artistic Figure Skating Competition at Coventry Skydome Arena on 15 July saw skaters from the IW and Gosport join forces to take on skaters from other Planet Ice rinks.

The combined IW and Gosport team proved a force to be reckoned with, dominating the competition by medalling in all but two of the events and taking the overall title.  As well as giving skaters a chance to show off their artistic routines the competition also allowed parents to show off their prop-making skills (Howard Smith!).

Results of individual IW and Gosport skaters were as follows:

Skate Excellence levels 5-8: Silver, Mollie Britten (Gosport).

Bronze, Silver and Gold passport: Silver, Anneliese Smith (IW). This was a fantastic skate from Anneliese as Moana with her amazing boat. Anneliese had 14 skaters in her section and the girl who went on two before her, had the same music, but Anneliese dazzled the judges with her routine and smile.

NISA levels 1-4: Bronze, Sophia Elliott (IW). A really tough section for Sophia, who skated her heart out to the Wizard of Oz. She had problems with her costume switch halfway but kept her cool and the judges didn’t even notice. Well done Sophia.

NISA Levels 5-8: 4th, Amy World (IW). Amy performed a wonderful skate to Bake a Cake . She was suffering with injuries but persevered through the pain as she didn’t want to let her team down.

Solo Adults: Silver, Melody Sharifi (IW). A fun, high energy skate from Melody that got everyone clapping along to her Willy Wonka routine.

Artistic Groups: Bronze, Eloise Hayward and Arwen Rowdon. The group section was 2 to 16+, so our duo of pirates Eloise and Arwen did a fantastic job to secure a bronze. Well done girls.

Artistic Groups Adults: Silver, Melody Sharifi and Kerry Baynes (IW). Melody and Kerry’s Blades of Glory was amazing – highly entertaining and superbly skated.

Inter-rink Show and Skate: Silver, Gosport. A great skate from the Gosport skaters. For most of them it was their first competition away, the costumes were brilliant and so was their performance.

It was a really fun competition and great to watch. The standard was very high so the IW and Gosport team did everybody proud by winning the gold medal position overall.

The IW and Gosport team

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The committee has decided to introduce a skater of the month award to reward a skater’s commitment, drive and passion for the sport. Skaters could receive the award for being a great team player showing determination, tenacity, improvement, team spirit and good sportsmanship.

Skater of the Month, June 2017: Ali Wright

Our skater of the month award for June goes to Ali Wright. She recently rejoined the club – Ali had been struggling to keep skating when our home rink closed and the Hot Fossils stopped skating as a team. She has shown fantastic team spirit, always wishing the skaters well and always smiling. Ali represented the Isle of Wight in the Gosport versus Isle of Wight friendly, performing a fantastic baton-twirling artistic routine and gaining valuable points to help the team secure the overall winning score.

Ali said she was incredibly nervous and it was her first  competition as a solo skater.

Coach Terri Smith said “ This was Ali’s first solo competition ever after having months of not skating. What an amazing achievement to help our team win the trophy. Ali demonstrated great performance and talent with her baton on the ice, one judge had her in second place, Well done Ali.”

Ali will receive 1 x Gosport patch session complements of the IWID&FSC.

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Our skaters at the 2017 Gosport v Isle of Wight competition

Our skaters have again brought medals back to the Island – this time from the annual inter-club competition between Gosport and the IW. Gosport is where our skaters train since Ryde Arena closed last October and they have become good friends with members if Gosport Club, although now was the time for them to become rivals once again.

First to compete were the synchro teams in the Sue Buckingham Cup. Representing the Island were our three youngest teams, Wight Sequins, Wight Crystals and Wight Sparkles. But it was the Sparkles that shone by taking bronze: Gosport’s teams took the top two medals. The medalling Sparkles team members were: Jess Curtis, Sophia Elliott, Maisy Foreman, Jess Gruber, Eloise Hayward, Courtney Lane, Lily McDevitt, Savannah Randall, Arwen Rowdon, Anneliese Smith, Lydia Soar, Anna Temporin, Ellie Watts, Josie Watts, Jasmine Young and Louisa Young.

Next on the ice were the individual level one and under skaters. Eloise Hayward won gold for the IW with her Maleficent artistic programme. Next were the level two to five skaters, and again the IW took gold with Jess Curtis and her Beauty and the Beast programme; Sophia Elliott won bronze skating to the Wizard of Oz.

Level 6 and above saw another IW gold with Amy World cooking up a storm with Bake A Cake, closely followed by Roxie Collins dancing off with silver to A New-fangled Tango.

Next it was the turn of the IW’s  adults to take to the ice and they showed the young skaters how to keep the medals coming with Melody Samiee getting the gold ticket with her Charlie And The Chocolate Factory programme.

Both young and older groups of two to four skaters took their turn next . In the level one and unders, gold was rightly won by the IW’s excellent interpretation of the cult ice skating film Blades of Glory, closely followed by our Pirates stealing the silver treasure. Level 2 and over saw the IW win another medal with the high-flying Magnificent 4 swooping in to take silver.

With the IW’s amazing run of podium places, it was a fabulous end to the day with the IW club winning the trophy overall.

As always, IW coach Terri Smith was rinkside supporting all the skaters and seeing all their hard work and training pay off. She said: “Passion and dedication won the trophy. Island skaters and parents have just knuckled down and continued their training at unsociable hours and extra costs to allow their children’s dreams to continue and reach their potential. It was lovely to see our adults competing too.

“This competition was a fun, artistic-style competition showing not just skating skills but also skaters’ ability to perform on the ice. Many skaters had to compete in higher classes just to field a team, again showing their amazing team spirit and sportsmanship.

“Everyone who skated for the IW made winning that trophy possible. Other skaters winning important points were Anneliese Smith, Maisy Foreman, Izzy Curtis, Keelin Scholes, Courtney Lane, Alison Wright and Steve Wood – a massive well done. After nine months without a rink you all truly surprise me with your drive and passion for our sport.

“Also a thank you to Gosport Skating Club for hosting the event and accommodating our skaters in events we could enter. Also, a big thank you to Wightlink for their continued support to our teams. They help to make it all possible!”

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