Fifth British title for Great Yarmouth star Emily

Dominant force: Emily Woods dazzling the crowd and the judges.

Dominant force: Emily Woods dazzling the crowd and the judges. - Credit: Archant

Great Yarmouth’s young sports person of the year, Emily Woods, has become British champion for a fifth successive year.

The 16-year-old gave a brilliant performance in the artistic roller skating solo dance youth category at the British Championships to take the title in Hayward Heath. On the Saturday, Emily skated two compulsory dances, her first to the Terenzi Waltz where she gave a beautiful performance with soft flowing movements. Her second was the Keats Foxtrot and she gave a strong and elegant performance. Her combined marks put her in first place on the day.

On the Sunday, in the last group to skate, she skated her two-and-a-half-minute free dance to a very fast-beat flamenco. Woods was very excited and looking forward to skating her free dance. Her entrance is always lifting and she gave a brilliant performance and portrayed the music well. The audience gasped when she did her lay over and cheered with her jumps and heel spins. The marks received increased her lead to retain her solo crown.

The teenager has been selected for the Great British squad for the Cup of Europe in France. This will be the fifth year she has represented her country.

Woods will fly out to Dijon with her coach Martin Pickering (Stalham Artistic Roller Skating Club). It’s been a very difficult year for the success story, trying to balance school work with her skating lessons. The championships did not fall quite right this year, as she still had two more GCSE’s to go through, one on the Monday morning after the event.

Woods said: “The federation were very good and realised the youth category had exams on the Monday morning so the competition went on early Sunday morning and presentations were at lunchtime.

“I’d like to thank my coaches Martin and Kerry Pickering for their dedication and hard work and my school, Lynn Grove High, for the time they gave me in the sports hall in the mornings.”

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Three adult members of the club, Phil Hanson, Lorraine White and Ann Young competed in the masters category. Hanson gave an incredible performance and came second.

Like all of the other Stalham skaters, hard work paid off. Toni-Louise Lowe, 16, a Great Yarmouth High School pupil, put on a strong performance at youth level. She is also a very dedicated skater and her hard work is showing through. Gemma Bendle competed in the cadet category and gave an impressive performance gaining a fourth place in free skating and reaching the final in the solo dance category, where she came eighth.

Anyone wishing to learn to skate and have fun along the way please contact Martin or Kerry Pickering on 07903055346.