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Ellie O'Connell

Ellie O'Connell.

The 13-year-old ice skater, from Derby and a student at St Benedict's Voluntary Catholic Academy, partnered Joshua Tarry at Advanced Novice level to first place in the Welsh Championships and is part of the GB Talent Potential Squad.

Ellie says: "I am an ice dancer and skate with my partner Joshua Tarry. We have just moved to advanced novice for the 2015-16 season and have come first in our first three competitions. We have 15 hours on and five hours off ice each week, as well as two hours doing balance lifting and circus skills to aid flexibility.

"In early November 215, we compete at an international competition. This will be a real challenge for us, as, particularly with the Russian skaters, they are extremely strong and accomplished.

"The challenge for us is to gain higher marks than at previous competitions, building up our skills and strength.

"At basic novice level we came sixth out of 15 skaters from across the world and it would be very nice to achieve a high placing again, but some of the other competitors have been at this level for two years already. To gain high marks and obtain feedback from the international judges will be invaluable to us to know that we are heading in the right direction to succeed.

"The British Championships are in December 2015 and we will compete in one other British and one international competition in 2016."