Weʼre raising £10,000 to Recently my sport has lost its funding from SPORT UK, but I want to carry on my dreams to skate for my country at a Winter Olympic Games.
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Skating On Thin Ice? - a profile of a UK Speed Skater
As a big fan of the TV programme, Dancing On Ice, I started ice skating lessons at the age of 11, taking to it like a duck to water. Little did I know then how my life was about to change!
After grade 5 you have the choice of doing Figure Skating, Ice Hockey or Speed Skating. My mum had dreams of another Christopher Dean but I had always found fast sports attractive, so Speed Skating it was.
My wonderful coach,an ex Olympian, recognised my potential early on, seeing that I had a natural glide on the ice, which cannot be taught.
Having grown up in the shadow of my older sister and brother, who both progressed easily at school and also excelled in their chosen sports, I had low self- esteem. Having dyslexia, school was a struggle for me and I found school days exhausting, as I tried to keep up with my classmates. To finally realise that an ex-Olympic Speed Skater thought I had the potential to skate for my country was an amazing turning point in my young life! I loved to skate AND I was good at it! I became determined to train as hard as I could. I had found a purpose to my life.
By the age of 14 I was training 6 days a week and had achieved the racing times to be eligible to begin competing in Europe. This was very daunting at the beginning - indeed in the first race in Belgium when the gun indicating the start of the race went off, I was so nervous that I was left alone on the start line as my competitors zoomed off! And usually my rapid start had been one of my strengths! After a few seasons with lots of experience of international competitions, results improved as my PBs (personal best times) got faster.
When I was 15, a new GCSE syllabus came out for PE, which was one of the subjects I was studying. I was actually almost half way through my course in 2017 when my PE teacher realised that Speed Skating was no longer on the list for accepted sports to use for the practical element. My passion for Speed Skating was one of my reasons for choosing PE and so I was very traumatised that I could not use my chosen sport. This was particularly unfair as due to my skating regime, I had no time to excel at another sport. PE would have been my strongest subject.
We wrote to Anna Soubry, our MP, and she gave us enormous support, arranging a parliamentary debate on the issue, which we attended. Local TV and radio reported on the fact that I could not use my sport as part of my GCSE course. People were amazed and could understand my despair as an elite athlete. Anna is now campaigning to get Speed Skating added to the list when it’s reviewed later in the year.
However, 2017 was also a year of good news - I was runner up in the Sport Personality category of the Broxtowe Annual Awards, but more importantly I was selected as one of only 12 UK skaters for a new Speed Skating Academy. Sport UK funded this academy with the aim of finding potential Olympians and providing them with specialist training. The selection process involved many kinds of tests over many months and I was one of the youngest successful skaters.
Earlier this year after 18 months within the Academy and achieving faster times in my races both in the Uk and abroad, I was hoping to start transitioning into the UK World Class Programme.
However, in June 2018 we received the devastating news that Sport UK had decided to stop the funding for both the World Class Programme and the Academy for the upcoming four years Olympic cycle.
It felt that my world had fallen apart....
...but I am determined to fight on.
The only way that I can continue to pursue my dream of representing my country at a Winter Olympics is to find private funding.
If anyone reading this is in the position to sponsor me or the Academy, or have contact with businesses, which may be able to fund me, please could you message me.
My training regime continues as normal and my determination has grown. Any funding that I receive will be put to good use, I can assure you!
Many thanks for reading my story.
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Kyle Ross-Waddell started crowdfunding
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Jul 29, 2018
We are all with you 100%.You have the ability .. Work hard and you will succeed.Go for it.!
Jul 27, 2018
Good luck with the fundraising!
Jul 25, 2018
Jul 21, 2018
Jul 17, 2018
I will give you more when I can afford it!! You’re the best.
Jul 16, 2018
You can do it Kyle, we're all behind you
Jul 15, 2018
Keep the faith and follow your dreams, we are so proud of you already.
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