Ice skating stars win national award

BIT Gala 2011

BIT Gala 2011

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A St Annes couple who have dedicated more than 50 years to ice skating have been awarded a national honour.

Blackpool Ice Twirlers founders John and Pauline Holden,have been given a British Citizen Award for their services to the sport.

John and Pauline Holden, founders of Blackpool Ice Twirlers

John and Pauline Holden, founders of Blackpool Ice Twirlers

Pauline, 69, said: “It’s wonderful because it’s completely out of the blue. We were not expecting it at all.

“When my husband opened the email he said ‘that’s spam’ and deleted it!

“We have been ice skating for so long and we love the sport.

“We started the Ice Twirlers really for older skaters because as you get older you don’t want to be doing the jumps, but you still want to skate - and it all took off from there.”

John and Pauline formed the Blackpool Ice Twirlers team in 1998 and dedicated their time to developing the combined art of ice skating and baton twirling.

They were nominated for the national award by long-term members of the skating team Abigail Williams and Amy Willoughby.

They said: “We are delighted that John and Pauline will be receiving the award, as their consistent efforts, persistent hard work, as well as their love and commitment deserves to be recognised.

“The British Citizen Award is a fantastic way of thanking them for their life of service. Their passion has encouraged so many, it will continue to inspire, and could never be forgotten.”

The award, which recognises everyday people who work tirelessly to make a positive impact on their community, will be awarded to John and Pauline officially later this year.

John said: “We are both extremely delighted to be receiving the award, but feel there are so many other people out there who deserve this recognition.”