Helping hand for young star

Figure skater Harry Walford, from Thornton, has been selected to train with the GB development squad in Dundee
Figure skater Harry Walford, from Thornton, has been selected to train with the GB development squad in Dundee
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A budding figure skating star has earned the chance to train with some of Great Britain’s top performers – thanks to help from a Gazette-backed giveaway.

Ten-year-old Harry Walford was awarded £500 by The Swallowdale Trust and The Gazette as part of our £25,000 giveaway.

The youngster planned to use the cash to travel up to a national training camp in Dundee – provided he got through two skating exams to get into the Great Britain Development Squad.

And the delighted Anchorsholme School pupil found out last week he had passed with flying colours. He will now train alongside Matthew Parr, the British figure skating champion. He said: “It’s great to be in the squad. To get to this stage is great because I’ve been training really hard.

“I’m looking forward to quite a lot of it and when I get to the camp I’ll be with some of the top coaches from all over the world.”

Harry is part of the Fylde Coast Figure Skating Club and his exam success means he will now work toward his Level 8 award.

He will leave for the week-long camp on July 20.

Sarah Walford, Harry’s mum, of Thorn Cross, Thornton, added: “We knew this was his target when he started ice skating back in 2011 and there was a possibility that if he worked his backside off he would be in the development squad.”

Harry trains six times a week and took up the sport after trying it at a birthday party.

Mrs Walford added: “This is a big achievement, especially for boys, and I’m very proud.

“It will be an intense week but there will be a lot of young stars there.”