World Champs beckon for brilliant Bethany

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WORLD championship glory beckons in Helsinki next month for a young Hucknall syncronised ice skater.

Thirteen-year-old Bethany Warner, a member of Nottingham Synchronised Skating Academy, travels to Southern Finland on 5th March to represent Great Britain in the Junior World Championships.

The team, who train at Nottingham’s National Ice Centre and off-ice at David Lloyd leisure club in Aspley, only found out they’d made the Championship line-up on Monday after pipping rivals the Isle of Wight to the coveted spot on points.

Bethany’s proud mum Tracey said: “Everyone was so excited when they found out, the texts were going crazy. They knew they’d got a really good score, but it all came down to the marks received by the Isle of Wight in the last competition in Rouen. It was close, but luckily they couldn’t pull it off and Bethany’s team won the place. We’re all over the moon.”

Talented Bethany, who attends Christ The King School in Arnold, took up ice skating in January 2010 and started synchronised skating - which consists of teams of between eight and 20 moving across the ice as a single flowing unit, sometimes at great speed - a year later.

Already, she’s no stranger to the feel of a medal around her neck. At 13, she is eligible to skate with all three of the Academy’s teams - juveniles (under 13s), Novices (13-15s) and Juniors (up to 19 years) - and has won a whopping seven gold medals and two silver medals to date. Bethany’s teams won gold in Rouen earlier this month and silver in Salzburg, Austria, on 2nd January. Additional golds were won in Scotland at the Dumfries Trophy D’Ecosse in March 2011, with two more secured at the same event in April last year.

Bethany also struck gold at Lyon, France, in October 2011, and won a hard-earned silver medal in Compiegne, France, in February 2012.

Both the Novice and the Junior teams are double British champions, and it was their sparkling performance in Salzburg that helped seal their place in Helsinki.

The Juniors will be in Helsinki from 7-9th March, competing against 22 other international teams.

Bethany said: “The Finnish and US teams are the ones to beat, they’re very strong. It’s a tough competition, so to finish in the top ten would be wonderful. A medal position would be amazing. We’re all very excited, we’ve been traiing hard and are looking forward to the trip and the challenge.”

Bethany and team mates have to pay their own way in competitions, which becomes very expensive due to their ongoing success, so they are always on the look out for sponsorship.

For more information on how you can sponsor Bethany or the Nottingham Synchronised Skating Academy, visit www.NSSA.co.uk or e-mail chairman Tina Byrom on tina@nssa-nottingham.co.uk.