A free new program is helping young people get on the ice and learn fundamental ice skating skills.
The “Skate Inclusive” sessions at the National Ice Centre in Nottingham are for young adults with a learning disability aged 11 to 25 and are the first of their kind in the UK.
Coaching is provided by the team at the National Ice Centre and include Mandy, a former GB Olympic Speed Skater who skated at the Lake Placid Games in 1980 – although thankfully Mandy takes the sessions at a rather slower pace than she’s capable of!
Mandy says that she enjoys coaching the sessions due to the enthusiasm of those people that attend and feels that as the parent of child with Tuberous Sclerosis and autism she can relate to the concerns that parents and carers may have taking part in an activity such as ice skating.
She added: “My eldest son Paul skates for the short track speed skating team and represented Team GB at the Vancouver Winter Olympic Games in 2010 – this was on the same day Mark learned to tell the time, which had been a real struggle for him.
“Even now I couldn’t tell you which was the most emotional event for me”.
Matt Bradbury, Sports Development Officer at the National Ice Centre said: “We’re very excited to have been awarded funding from Sportivate. An opportunity like this will enable us to build on the disabled inclusion sessions that are already taking place but ultimately allow us to devise specific levels which will encourage disabled people to learn a new skill and take to the ice with confidence.
Both group sessions (Monday Lunchtimes) and individual sessions (Wednesday Evenings) have been made possible by Sportivate funding which is provided by Sport England and managed locally by Sport Nottinghamshire.
The first set of sessions launched in January and run weekly until the 11th February before re-launching on the 23rd for another 6 week block. Parents that are interested should get in touch to register their interest for future sessions.
To make a booking or for further information please contact Janet Wass from the Sports Development Team on 0115 853 3010 or email [email protected]
If you are interested in services provided by Space Inclusive you contact them on 0115 837 0693 or via email at [email protected] –