Little Lilly May Smith has been skating for half her life – and she’s reached standards way ahead of her age.
Now she’s hoping to secure support to further her ice dance skills and continue training to the highest levels.
Hawes Side Academy pupil Lilly took to the ice at the Pleasure Beach Arena when she was just three and a half-years-old, coached by Charlotte Waring.
And she’s recently won a place in the regional development squad of the National Ice Skating Association (NISA), ice skating’s national governing body, having completed her NISA level three tests.
Charlotte, who has been in the Hot Ice Show cast for the past five years and is a NISA 2B development coach, said Lilly had reached the standard usually achieved by skaters at the age of 10 or 11.
“It really is such a high level to gain at such a young age and to be picked for what is essentially a GB squad,” Charlotte said. “She’s very talented, but I’d say it’s 50per cent talent and 50per cent hard work - she really does train hard.
I have to get her to level four by the time she’s eight to keep her on the squad so she can attend their training camps.
“She is an extremely determined little girl.
“It’s an expensive hobby. Top skates can cost £150 to £200. But now Lilly’s in the development squad, she has to do away competitions too - and it all adds up.”
She said Lilly, who lives in South Shore with mum Sarah and dad Simon, skates at the ice drome three or four times a week with Charlotte including a special spins session at the weekends.
“We now have to work to keep her in the squad,” Charlotte added. “I have to get her to level four by the time she’s eight to keep her on the squad so she can attend their training camps.”
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to help support Lilly’s training.