A determined Hucknall schoolgirl has moved a step closer to her dream after a building firm decided a bet on her future was as safe as houses.
Sian Bettridge, of Holgate Academy, has secured funding from Taylor Wimpey East Midlands to take her figure-skating career to the next level.
Sian, 14, instantly fell in love with the sport at the age of eight, after watching Torvill and Dean perform for TV’s Dancing on Ice.
Since then she has fought her way into the prestigious NIC Skate Academy—based at the National Ice Centre in Nottingham—and finished 15th in her first ever appearance at the British Championships in 2014.
Her mum Amanda could not hide her pride when she explained: “Once Sian deided that figure skating was something she wanted to do seriously, she’s never looked back.
“She applied to get into the Academy five times before she was successful. Each time she was rejected only made her even more determined to improve.
“What she’s achieved so far has been down to her own focus and willpower, but we’re also lucky enough to have a very supportive family and the school have been extremely supportive too.”
Taylor Wimpey joined that list in March when Sian appealed to them for help and they responded with a grant for £4000.
The money will be used to pay for boots, competition costumes and private tuition which will Sian further develop her potential as a star of the future.
Amanda and Sian’s dad, Craig, have been footing the bill so far, but as Amanda says: “It is an expensive sport and the costs involved really do add up, so really grateful for the company’s generosity.
The sponsorship will make a huge difference and I can’t thank them enough.”
Sian’s rigorous training regime involves hitting the ice six days a week, with one or two hours’ training before school, the same again after school, private lessons at least twice a week and more training every Saturday—and so far she is proving that hard work pays off.
Her next aim is to qualify again for this year’s national finals in the hope she can do even better.
Her dream is to compete at international level and go as far as her ability will take her. How much further will she follow those first heroes Torvill and Dean?