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Buckland and Coomes return to Nottingham to inspire young skaters

On Saturday, double Olympians and elite Ice Dance couple Nicholas Buckland and Penny Coomes returned to their local training rink, the National Ice Centre in Nottingham, to inspire the next generation of Olympic stars in a Skate UK session.

The couple returns to the UK in high spirits after their recent success at the ISU World Figure Skating Championships in Boston, USA which left them with two career best skates and an overall ranking of 7th in the world. With their base now in Detroit, USA the couple have taken a short break to return to the rink where it all started for them back in 2005.

Skaters attending their Saturday morning Skate UK class had a wonderful surprise when the world famous ice skating stars greeted them into the session. Chloe, 10 from Bulwell said;

“I have been skating for two years and it was a lovely surprise to see Nick and Penny this morning. I started skating through school and then joined the Skate UK programme. It’s so good to have professional Olympic skaters joining us and helping us to learn.”

Nicholas and Penny know better than most just how tough the world of elite sports can be. Just last year illness meant that they had to sit out of major competitions in the European and World Championships but they came back stronger than ever this year; returning to the world stage with numerous personal bests showing that hard work and perseverance truly does pay off.

This was the message of the day, as skaters as young as six huddled around to hear the couples’ advice for those dreaming of one day reaching their level of success. Nick said;

“It’s so nice coming back to the National Ice Arena in Nottingham. I learnt to skate here and also coached, so to come back and help feels great. It’s fantastic to be able to come back and promote our sport and to help kids learn. It’s also great seeing their faces and smiles when they manage to get something for the first time.”

After a short break visiting friends and family the couple will head back across the pond to prepare for the start of the 2016/17 season, and with PyeongChang 2018 around the corner their sights are back on the Olympic stage. Penny said;

“We were really pleased with our 7th place in the Worlds and to get two personal bests was great. Our performances this year are really promising and it is good news for us going into the Olympics in two years time. It’s definitely where we want to be.”

If you are interested in finding out more about the Skate UK lessons at the National Ice Centre then visit: national-ice-centre.com or call 0843 373 3000 for details.

You can follow Nicholas and Penny and the rest of Great Britain’s skaters on Twitter: @NISA_iceskating and Facebook: ‘National Ice Skating Association’


Published: 11th April 2016