Enjoying the cold weather in Sweden Jan 2017
I'm captain of the Wight Jewels synchronised skating team which was founded on the Isle of Wight in 2005. From starting the sport with no experience to competing now against the best teams in the world it has been one hell of a journey, all centred around the amount of training hours put in at Ryde Arena. In these 12 years we have travelled across the world to Sweden, France, Switzerland, Russia, Hungary, Italy and probably more I can't think of. We have won championships and performed in many shows and galas.
As a 'junior' team we were the reigning British Champions for many years and hoped to keep this success as we developed into a 'senior' team (the highest level category world wide). Unfortunately, because of AEW, the deterioration of Ryde Arena over the past couple of years and it's ultimate close has affected our training schedule and we haven't been able to get the results we have hoped for at senior level. Despite this we are still competing in senior competitions nationally and internationally. Last year were silver medalists at the British Championships and this year bronze.
We have recently returned from competing in Sweden and will shortly travel to Scotland to compete against some of the top teams in the world. Our current 'home rink' is Bracknell, Berkshire, where we get about 1.5 hours of ice time a week once the hockey game is finished on a Sunday night, before rushing back to get the midnight ferry with work and school on Monday morning. This is not an adequate training schedule for a team of our level and much less than the 5+ hours weekly we could have at Ryde Arena.
Receiving our bronze medals at the British Championships Jan 2017
Sharing training time with the Wight Sequins in Gosport Dec 2016
Night time training in Gosport Oct 2016
Off ice training on the beach when the rink was closed Jul 2016