Ice maidens hoping judges warm to them at champs

Banbury Cake: From left, the young skaters in action, Ceri Kearney, 12, Anais Arnould, 13, Juliana Drozd, 14, Emily-Kate Barnett, 12, and Katie Garman, 11. Picture: OX67961 Cliff Hide From left, the young skaters in action, Ceri Kearney, 12, Anais Arnould, 13, Juliana Drozd, 14, Emily-Kate Barnett, 12, and Katie Garman, 11. Picture: OX67961 Cliff Hide

THESE five glittering ice maidens will all represent Oxfordshire at a national ice dancing competition.

They hope to glide, slide and sparkle their way to victory at the British Solo Ice Dance Championships to be held in Sheffield on Tuesday, July 1.

The girls will compete against 100 contestants from across the UK, having all made it into the finals independently.

Juliana Drozd, 14, from Shrivenham, competing in the advanced novice category, said: “I have been skating for 12 years and ice dancing for three and a half.

“I have got grace and I feel empowered on the ice.

“It is all about the aesthetic, but it is very difficult as well, it’s the perfect combination for a sport.”

Ceri Kearney, 12, from Farmoor, is competing in the British finals for the third year in a row.

Last year she finished sixth in her class.

Like most of the girls, Ceri, who goes to Bartholomew School, Eynsham, trains at Oxford Ice Rink four mornings a week before school and three afternoons.

The youngster was inspired to take up the sport after going skating with her family from the age of seven.

She said: “When I do ice dancing it feels like it’s meant to be.”

All five Oxfordshire girls have had to win podium places in several rounds of tough heats to make it all the way to the British championships.

Katie Garman, 11, from Chinnor, has never been to the finals before.

She said: “I’m very excited but also a bit scared.”

The girls all train at Oxford Ice Rink with coaches Sue Hands, David Horton, Pamela Rhodes and Mark Richards.

Miss Hands said: “Making it through is brilliant, especi-ally given that they are all under age 15.

“Oxford is one of the top rinks in the country.”

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