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Behind the scenes with CBBC Ice Stars’ Isabelle Roberts

Last week we caught up with Speed Skater Isabelle Roberts following her CBBC Ice Stars debut. The 16-year-old fell in love with speed skating at the age of six after watching a competition at the rink and told us that it is an intense and unpredictable sport which is why she loves it so much.

Why did you choose to join speed skating over other skating disciplines? After watching the competition the sport just attracted me straight away as it wasn't like anything I'd ever seen before. You could be right at the front in a race and fall over, or right at the back and then end up winning, that's why I love it because you never know what can happen.

Did you complete the Skate UK programme, and how did you find it? Before I joined speed skating I completed the Skate UK programme and managed to pass all of the levels. Some parts were quite challenging but overall it was useful to get to know the basics of skating and it has definitely helped me with my speed skating. I can remember first stepping out onto the ice and falling over every five seconds.

Does anyone in your family skate? My brother Ben and I train together. It’s great to be able to skate with him because we can always support each other, although we do sometimes argue a little (of course!)  

What is your favourite thing to do when off the ice?  Although I really enjoy training, it’s great when I get to see school friends and catch up with them. I’m at the ice rink six days a week so when I get to see them it’s a treat and you appreciate it a lot more.

What is your favourite subject at school and why? My favourite subject at school was probably PE. All my friends took PE as a subject as well so we had a lot of fun together. I also really enjoyed English because it gave me a chance to be a bit more creative and it is obviously very different to sport so it’s good to have that balance. 

What is your favourite animal and why? Definitely cats! They get to relax all day and get free massages which is a pretty good life I think. 

What was it like having cameras follow you around?  It was so weird to have cameras following you around at first, and it was really difficult to not say "errrr" between every word. After a while it almost felt like having a catch up with friends instead of filming, which was pretty nice. 

What was your favourite part of CBBC Ice Stars? Getting to know the camera crew and team, they were all so funny so it was great to have that group of people around you. It was also nice to be able to meet some of the other people in other disciplines taking part in the programme. Although we all practically live at the ice rink we don't actually get to see each other that often. It was also interesting to see how everything is filmed and put together, and is definitely an experience I feel very lucky to have had and will never forget.

Isabelle’s Mum, Elke, told us that the whole family loves sports and she is extremely pleased to see Isabelle enjoy her sport to a high level. 

Elke said: “Isabelle loves Short Track Speed Skating and the sport has given her amazing opportunities such as competing internationally and meeting Olympic athletes. We hope those watching CBBC Ice Stars will see how passionate Isabelle is about the sport and hopefully will entice even more people into speed skating. 

“The Skate UK programme makes it possible for skaters to find their feet on the ice and was a push in the right direction before Isabelle decided to commit to Short Track Speed Skating. We are very grateful to the Nottinghamshire Ice Racing Club and the GB Short Track team based here in Nottingham who have made all of this possible for her.”

Get to know Izzy with the CBBC video: bbc.co.uk/cbbc/watch/get-to-know-izzy.

14th September 2015