A six-year-old ice skater from the Meon Valley has won a bronze medal for Great Britain after swapping an ice rink for a village hall during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Little Serafina D’Cruze had to stop her ice-skating training last year when her local rink in Gosport, Hampshire, where she usually trains, was closed.
But her Mum Chloe came up with the idea of swapping Serafina’s ice skates for inline skates which don’t have to be used on ice and the child was able to continue training in a village hall, in Meonstoke, Hampshire.
Serafina started ice skating when she was just three after watching skating on television. “Lockdown has been difficult for so many people in so many ways, and people who love sport have been hit hard,” says Mum-of-three Chloe, 40.
“It’s been tough for ice skaters as the rinks have been closed for nine months out of the past twelve. We bought Serafina some inline skates so she could at least use those for training but finding a flat surface to replace the ice wasn’t easy.
“So I started searching for another alternative for her. Then a lovely man called James Morrice, who is Chairman of the Hall Committee at the Meon Hall down the road, which has a really shiny polished floor, kindly offered to hire it to us.
“This changed Serafina’s life dramatically because she could skate every day and we can’t thank him enough. Without James and the Meon Hall Serafina’s training would have had to stop for almost a year, which is forever when you are six!
“Serafina started to really embrace her new skill. Inline skating is very different to ice skating. Weight and balance are in different places and you have to spin on your front wheel rather than a flat ice skating blade.”
In addition to the indoor training, Serafina received training over Zoom from her coaches Paul Crocker and Terri Smith and last week the training paid off.
Serafina took part in the World Inline Figure Skating Association inline skating competition – which was done online via cameras for the first time because of the pandemic – and Serafina won a bronze medal and was less than half a point behind a Ukrainian rival who took 2nd place.
“We’re so proud of her and she was thrilled,” says Chloe. “She’s loved keeping her training going indoors but now she’s very excited about being able to get back onto ice.”
Photographs by Paul Jacobs / Pictureexclusive.com