GB call-up for Fearnley

Jake Fearnley and Eleanor Hirst

Jake Fearnley and Eleanor Hirst

First published in Sport
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BRADFORD'S Jake Fearnley and junior ice dance partner Eleanor Hirst have been selected by the National Ice Skating Association (NISA) to represent Great Britain at an international competition in Slovenia later this month.

Fearnley, 17, and 15-year-old Hirst from Rotherham will take part in the International Skating Union (ISU) Junior Grand Prix in Ljubljana from August 27-31.

The five-day event at the Hala Tivoli ice rink in the Slovenian capital will bring together the best young skaters from across the world to compete in ladies', men's and ice dance categories.

Fearnley and Hirst, who train six days a week at iceSheffield, were promoted to NISA's performance squad last December.

Fearnley, who is a pupil at Queensbury School, and Hirst, who goes to Swinton Community School, both started Skate UK lessons in 2008 and were crowned British novice dance champions in 2012.

Fearnley is one of just 12 NISA figure skaters taking part in their Advanced Apprenticeship in Sporting Excellence (AASE) performance programme for talented athletes aged 16-19.

"We're looking forward to testing ourselves against top international skaters and hoping to perform to the best of our ability at the competition," he said.

Hirst added: "We're very proud to have been chosen to represent our country. We have been working hard to keep improving and we are always striving to achieve the best that we possibly can."

Hilary Selby, performance director for NISA, said: "Jake and Eleanor are a young ice dance couple with a lot of potential.

"They have impressed since being promoted to the performance squad last year and fully deserve their place at the ISU Junior Grand Prix in Slovenia."

Mandy Parker, general manager at iceSheffield, said: "It's fantastic to see Eleanor and Jake progress from Skate UK lessons just six years ago to now representing their country at a major international event. We wish them the best of luck for the competition."

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