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A British Championships to Remember

The National Ice Skating Association 2017 British Figure Skating Championships came to an end this weekend following a huge turn out of competitors from across the UK. 


Spectators from far and wide flocked to enjoy a collection of breath-taking Figure Skating performances, with the crowning of a total of 18 British Champions in their consecutive categories. 


British Ice Dancers Nick Buckland and Penny Coomes also walked away having reclaimed their National Championship title to become Great Britain’s officially recognised 2018 Olympic athletes this weekend.


NISA Historian Elaine Hooper was awarded with Honorary Lifetime Membership for her contribution to the sport. 


And the NISA 2017 Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) passed the Special Resolution to adopt a new set of Articles of Association – the rules which govern how the organisation is run.


The revised Articles of Association bring the NGB into compliance with the Government’s new Code for Sports Governance, and offer more benefits to different groups across the sport. 


The vote means that NISA can now move forward plans to grow the sport and open new opportunities for membership, in line with its 10 Year Strategy. 


The organisation has a lot to look forward to, with places won for Great Britain at the 2018 PeyongChang Winter Olympics in both Speed and Figure Skating. 


Over the weekend Nick and Penny put in a winning performance to become British Champions in Senior Ice Dance, with Lilah Fear and Lewis Gibson coming in with a Silver and Robynne Tweedale and Joseph Buckland taking Bronze. 


But the road back to their National Championships has been a long one for Nick and Penny, following a devastating injury which threatened to take Penny off of the ice for good in March 2016. 


Now the couple have come back fighting fit having qualified Great Britain, and now themselves, a place at the next Winter Olympics. 

 


Following their performance, the team were announced as Great Britain’s official 2018 Olympians at an Olympic Selection Meeting held on the final day of the British Championships. 


Now the couple will work hard to prepare for their third Winter Olympics, they said: “We are thrilled to finally be named officially as part of the 2018 PyeongChang team.


“Being able to represent our country at our 3rd Olympic Games is all the more special because it almost got taken away. 


“18 months ago we felt like this wasn’t going to happen, so we are both so happy to finally be back to where we belong.”


High Performance Programme Manager Robin Cousins said: “I am delighted with the announcement that Nick and Penny will be Great Britain’s 2018 Olympians. 


 “Penny’s road to recovery has not been an easy one, and being away from competition for such a long time has really been a test of their mettle.  


“I don't think I've ever known anyone like Penny, who might appear so fragile, and yet such a tiger inside. It doesn't seem to matter what knocks them, they come back stronger.


“Now the team can go away and put all of their focus to preparing for the moment they step back onto the Olympic stage together.” 


Lilah and Lewis also put in a fantastic performance at the event. The young Ice Dance Couple achieved a score this season which also qualifies them for Olympic selection.

 
Lilah and Lewis will become Great Britain’s Ice Dance Olympic Reserves in the build-up to PyeongChang 2018. 


But the Championships saw a series of exceptional performances from categories across the board, including standout performances from Natasha McKay in Senior Ladies, Phil Harris in Senior Men, Sasha Fear and George Waddell in Junior Dance and many more. 


Technical Director Alistair Wilson said: “The British Championships 2017 got off to a great start with an exciting performance from Elena Komova from the NIC Nottingham. It included two double axels to win the Basic Novice Ladies Championship. 


“There were many more spectacular performances during the week including a closely fought battle between Luke Digby and Josh Brown for the Junior Men’s title, where Luke prevailed to take the title.

 

   

  
“The Senior Competitions also produced many exciting performances, notably with Penny Coomes and Nick Buckland securing their selection for the Olympics by winning the Senior Dance Championship.


“We need to thank all who made this week possible; the NISA Staff, Judges & Officials, all the hard-working volunteers behind the scenes and lastly Sheffield Major Events and Ice Sheffield for the venue.”


Full results can be found here. Congratulations to our winners and well done to all who skated at the event to make it one to remember.