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British Figure Skating Champion Goes Back to Basics in Schools Skating Programme

Joe Buckland, 22 from Nottingham has spent years working his way to championship level in figure skating. Alongside ex-partner Olivia Smart he has represented the country in competitions around the world and taken gold in the British Championships 2014. Now as he begins a new chapter in his career he is taking some time to inspire the younger generations of Nottingham.

The National Ice Centre (NIC), Nottingham has played a huge role in Joe’s skating, having begun lessons here at the tender age of four it remains an important part of his life. With thousands of people already skating through here every week, the centre has opened its doors up further to Nottingham’s local schools.

On Friday 25th September Joe was on hand assisting an NIC School Skating Programme session where 100 children from Springfield, Netherfield and Candleby Primary Schools and Oakwood Academy took to the ice; some for the first time.

Since parting ways from Olivia earlier in the year, Joe has been exploring other areas in his skating including training to be a coach. He has found a penchant for working with younger skaters, sharing his knowledge and experience to inspire them in their own journey on the ice.

Joe said;

“Having spent so many years focusing on my own career it has been great to turn my attention to the next generation of skaters. I have visited a number of schools in the area and now I am taking the next step joining sessions at NIC. I am still working on my own skating but it’s great to have the chance to pass some of my own knowledge on and see it help these younger skaters.”

The NIC Schools Skating Programme runs throughout the whole academic year for 6 weeks taking groups of school children through the basics of ice skating, building their confidence and preparing them for further training in the sport. For those who show particular promise and interest, there is even the chance to win a funded scholarship once the programme ends. 

NIC Sports Development Officer, Matt Bradbury said;

“Some of the children taking part in the programme may never have had the opportunity to take to the ice before but by the end there confidence and skillset will have grown massively. As a local Nottingham skater, Joe will inspire the children and they can see that with hard work they too could have a career on the ice.”

Notts TV joined Joe and the children on the ice. You can see their coverage here

For more information on the programme or to find out how your school can get involved call the National Ice Centre on 0843 373 3000 or visit www.national-ice-centre.com

If you or your child is interested in learning to skate the centre also runs regular Learn to Skate sessions. The classes are brought to the centre by Skate UK and use NISA accredited coaches. More information on the Learn to Skate programme can be found here


1st October 2015