Date: Thursday 02 April 2015
A determined schoolgirl from Nottinghamshire has battled adversity and is working hard to earn her place as one of the top young figure-skaters in the UK – and now she’s a step closer to her dream thanks to a sponsorship deal.
Hucknall teenager Sian Bettridge instantly fell in love with the sport after watching Torvill and Dean on TV’s 'Dancing On Ice' at the age of eight. Since then she has fought her way into the prestigious NIC Skate Academy – based at the National Ice Centre in Nottingham – and finished 15th in her first ever appearance at the British Championships last year.
Now the 14-year-old Holgate Academy pupil’s quest to compete at international level has received a major boost after an appeal to Taylor Wimpey East Midlands resulted in the £4,000 sponsorship deal.
The money will be used to pay for boots, competition costumes and all-important private tuition which Sian’s mum, Amanda, and dad, Craig, hope will help her fulfil her potential as a figure-skating star of the future.
“Ever since she saw Torvill and Dean on the television Sian’s been in love with skating,” says Amanda.
“She’s worked incredibly hard to get where she is today and she wants to go further, and the sponsorship from Taylor Wimpey will make a huge difference. I can’t thank the company enough for what they’re doing to help us.”
Sian’s rigorous training regime involves hitting the ice six days a week, with one or two hours’ training before school, the same again after school, private lessons at least twice a week and more training every Saturday – and so far she’s proving that hard work pays off.
“Once Sian decided that figure skating was something she wanted to do seriously, she’s never looked back,” says Amanda.
“She applied to get into the Skate Academy five times before she was successful, and each time she was rejected only made her even more determined to improve.
“Last year she went to the British Championships for the first time and finished 15th, and now she wants to qualify for this year’s finals in the hope she can do even better. After that, it’s her dream to compete at international level and go as far as her ability will take her.
“What she’s achieved so far has been down to her own focus and determination, but we’re also lucky enough to have a very supportive family who do what they can to help out, and Sian’s school have been extremely supportive as well.
“But figure-skating is quite an expensive sport and the costs involved really do add up, which is why we’re so grateful for Taylor Wimpey’s generosity.”
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