Weʼre raising £10,000 to compete at the Winter Olympic Games as my sport has lost its funding.
- 5 days to go
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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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- 3 months ago
Kyle Ross-Waddell3 months ago
I have recently been selected to skate at the Junior Worlds in Canada at the beginning of next year. So all donations with help me getting there and complete. Thank you, keep donating and sharing.😊
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Jan 5, 2019
Chase the Dream mate.. go smash it..
Dec 17, 2018
Keep chasing your goals you will achieve them , all the best!
Dec 15, 2018
Dec 13, 2018
Great news Kyle, well done. Work hard and enjoy. With love and prayers from Ruth and Colin.
Nov 20, 2018
Continue to develop your skills-- the family are so proud of you
Oct 10, 2018
Dream big, you can do it. Keep attacking!
Sep 21, 2018
All the best x
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About the fundraiser
I have recently been selected to compete at the Junior Worlds in Canada next January. This will be an amazing experience and opportunity to skate for my country at the beginning of next year. Keep sharing and donating