Golding Set for Junior Grand Prix Debut

Elizabeth Golding (13) will become the youngest Irish figure skater to ever compete in an International Skating Union (ISU) Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating series event this weekend in Linz, Austria.

Golding, who turns 14 next month, took up figure skating at the relatively late age of seven. Born in Moscow, Russia to Irish father Gerard and Russian mother Olga, her first steps on the ice were in the United Arab Emirates where her parents now work. She still trains part-time in the UAE.

At the age of 9, she was accepted into a skating school in the south of Moscow. For four years she has been under the tutelage of Alexandra Chistiakova, a former ice dancer who represented Russia and Bulgaria internationally. Golding travels to Russia for lessons and spends four to five months a year there while maintaining a healthy balance between her training and school work. She has also participated in summer training camps led by Olympic champions, such Alexei Urmanov (1994 Lillehammer) and Oksana Kazakova (1998 Nagano).

This year she was named the best female athlete in the snow and ice sports category at the UAE Teen Sports and Fitness Awards.

“My goal for this competition and the season in general is to put triple jumps into my programmes, do them confidently and still enjoy skating,” Golding said.

2018 marks the 10th anniversary of Ireland’s first participation in the ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating. The series started in 1997 and includes seven events and the ISU Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final. It features some of the up and coming skaters of the world and provides young skaters aged 13 to 19 with the opportunity to compete at a high international level.

Golding will compete on Friday 31 August in the short programme and Saturday 1 September in the free skating. Her performances will be broadcast live on the ISU’s YouTube channel. The event can also be followed by using the #JGPFigure hashtag across various social media platforms.

Event Page: http://www.isuresults.com/events/fsevent03111598.htm

2018-2019 Irish Figure Skating Team Named

The selection of the Irish Figure Skating National Team for the 2018-2019 season has been made by the Board of Directors of the Ice Skating Association of Ireland (ISAI).

The following ISAI members have been chosen to represent Ireland on the international stage at International Skating Union (ISU) events:

Senior Men – Sam McAllister

Senior Men – Conor Stakelum

Junior Ladies – Elizabeth Golding

Conor Stakelum is a five-time Senior National champion. A native of Dublin, he trains in Dundee, Scotland with Simon and Debi Briggs. In January 2018, he became the first male skater to represent Ireland at the European Figure Skating Championships in Moscow, Russia

Sam McAllister is moving up to the senior ranks this season. From Ballymoney, Northern Ireland, he is coached by Margaret O’Neill in Nottingham and Sheffield, England. In March 2018, he competed at the 2018 World Junior Figure Skating Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria, the first Irish skater to participate in the event since 2010.

Elizabeth Golding picked up her third Advanced Novice title at the Irish Figure Skating Championships in March 2018 and from this season will compete at the junior level internationally. In January 2018, she won the Advanced Novice event at the FBMA Trophy in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Golding 17th And McAllister 10th At Egna Spring Trophy

The selection of the Irish Figure Skating National Team for the 2018-2019 season has been made by the Board of Directors of the Ice Skating Association of Ireland (ISAI).

The following ISAI members have been chosen to represent Ireland on the international stage at International Skating Union (ISU) events:

Senior Men – Sam McAllister

Senior Men – Conor Stakelum

Junior Ladies – Elizabeth Golding

Conor Stakelum is a five-time Senior National champion. A native of Dublin, he trains in Dundee, Scotland with Simon and Debi Briggs. In January 2018, he became the first male skater to represent Ireland at the European Figure Skating Championships in Moscow, Russia

Sam McAllister is moving up to the senior ranks this season. From Ballymoney, Northern Ireland, he is coached by Margaret O’Neill in Nottingham and Sheffield, England. In March 2018, he competed at the 2018 World Junior Figure Skating Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria, the first Irish skater to participate in the event since 2010.

Elizabeth Golding picked up her third Advanced Novice title at the Irish Figure Skating Championships in March 2018 and from this season will compete at the junior level internationally. In January 2018, she won the Advanced Novice event at the FBMA Trophy in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Golding And McAllister Finish Season At Egna Spring Trophy

National team members Elizabeth Golding and Sam McAllister will this weekend close out a very successful season for Irish figure skating at the Egna Spring Trophy in Egna, Italy.

Golding will compete in the Advanced Novice Girls event in a field of 27 skaters from 12 countries. This year already the Irish champion has won gold at the FBMA Trophy in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates and retained her national title last month at the Irish Figure Skating Championships.

McAllister bagged the Denkova-Staviski Trophy title in Sofia, Bulgaria last November and he was back in the same city last month where he became the first Irish skater in eight years to participate in the ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships. He finished in 44th place. At the Irish Championships, he moved up to the senior level and he will be competing as a senior again in Italy this weekend.

You can follow the progress of Golding and McAllister via the competition results page and live stream.

Irish Skaters Take To The Ice At Skate Southern

Irish figure skaters were in action on each of the four days of Skate Southern this week across a number of categories .

Justina Tkacheva was the youngest skater from Ireland to compete and she skated in the Beginner Ladies. She finished in 25th place with a score of 8.87.

Fineas Nedelea participated in the Beginner Men’s event in his first ever international club competition. He came 11th and earned a score of 8.60.

Elizabeth Golding skated in three different categories at Skate Southern. She took a silver medal in the Basic Novice A Ladies (Under 13) with a score of 35.50. She finished 8th in the Advanced Novice Ladies (Under 15) Short Programme (27.04) and 7th in the Advanced Novice Ladies (Under 15) Free Skating (44.99).

Aoibhe Hennigan was the last skater from Ireland to begin competing this week and she was entered into the Level 3 ladies event. She placed 14th with and received a score of 17.87

2018 Irish Figure Skating Championships

The 2018 Irish Figure Skating Championships were held at Lee Valley Ice Centre and featured skaters competing in three different categories.

Conor Stakelum took his fifth Senior Men’s title. His short programme included a triple toe loop-triple toe loop combination, a triple loop and a double Axel. He was also awarded a Level 4 for a flying sit spin and received a segment score of 56.95. In the free skating, he attempted four triple jumps and had two spins graded Level 4 to earn 100.02 points. He clinched gold with a combined total of 156.97.

Fresh from his debut at the ISU Junior World Figure Skating Championships, Sam McAllister took on his first senior championships. In the short, he went for a triple Lutz, a triple flip-double toe combination and a double Axel. Two spins were graded Level 4 by the technical panel. For the free, he managed to attempt four triple jumps and was given a score of 84.16. A total of 136.38 gave him the silver medal.

Elizabeth Golding picked up her third Advanced Novice Ladies title. She scored 25.66 for her short and 41.23 for her free to finish the competition with a total of 66.89.

Aoibhe Hennigan won her first Basic Novice A Ladies gold. Laura Hegarty also took her first medal in this category by coming second.

Full results for the 2018 Irish Figure Skating Championships are available here.

McAllister 44th At World Junior Figure Skating Championships

Irish figure skater Sam McAllister has finished 44th at the ISU World Junior Figure Skating Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria.

The two-time Irish Junior champion became the first Irish skater since Viv Parnell-Murphy in 2010 to participate at the event when he took to the ice at the Arena Armeec earlier today in the men’s short programme.

Skating to “Nothing The Same” by Gary Moore, McAllister opened with a triple Lutz jump preceded by intricate steps. He fell on a triple flip jump combination, but regrouped to execute a Level 2 change foot camel spin and a Level 3 flying sit spin that garnered a positive grade of execution from the judging panel. His step sequence was awarded a Level 2 and then he went on to attempt a double Axel. He closed his routine out strongly with a Level 4 change foot combination spin.

The Ballymoney, Northern Ireland native earned an ISU season best score of 39.97 points to finish 44th overall.

“I am a little bit disappointed that I was not able to show my absolute best skating today,” McAllister said. “However, I am very proud to have represented Ireland here in Bulgaria this week and what I have learned at this competition will help me a lot as I move up to senior international competitions next season.”

McAllister Bringing Ireland Back To Junior Worlds

Sam McAllister will next week become the first skater to represent Ireland at the World Junior Figure Skating Championships since 2010.

The two-time Irish junior champion will be one of 49 skaters from 39 countries competing in the men’s singles category at the event which takes place in Sofia, Bulgaria from 5-11 March 2018. In order to qualify for the championships, each competitor had to obtain a set of minimum technical scores at International Skating Union (ISU) international competitions during the previous and/or current seasons. Skaters who have appeared at the event in the past have gone on to represent their countries at European, World and Olympic level.

The Ballymoney, Northern Ireland native is the second skater from Ireland to make an appearance at the World Junior Championships. Viv Parnell-Murphy participated at the event in 2010 when it was held in The Hague, Netherlands.

“My main goal for this season was to make it to Junior Worlds and I am so excited to finally go to Bulgaria and compete for Ireland,” McAllister said. “I am ready to skate my best and make everyone who has supported me proud.”

McAllister will begin his competition in the men’s short programme on 8 March.

Stakelum Nabs Two Personal Bests At Challenge Cup

Conor Stakelum participated in the Challenge Cup in The Hague Netherlands this weekend and picked up two new personal bests on his way to a 12th place finish.

In the short programme, Stakelum performed to “Red Violin” by John Corigliano. He included a triple toe loop-triple toe loop combination, a triple loop and a double Axel in his routine and had two of his spins graded Level 4 by the technical panel. His score of 54.77 was a new personal best and put him in 10th place after the short.

Skating to “Chasing Cars” by Snow Patrol, the Dubliner attempted five triple jumps in the free skating and landed two double Axels. All three of his spins were awarded Level 4. He received a free score of 103.56 which left him in 12th place overall on a total of 158.33. The latter mark was also a new personal best.

Last month, the four-time Irish champion became the first male skater to represent Ireland at the European Figure Skating Championships in Moscow, Russia.

Stakelum 36th At First Europeans

Irish figure skater Conor Stakelum has finished in 36th place at the ISU European Figure Skating Championships in Moscow, Russia.

Stakelum was the second competitor of the event to take to the ice for his short programme which he skated to “The Red Violin” by John Corigliano. He began positively with a triple toe loop/triple toe loop jump combination that was evaluated positively by the judging panel. However, he then only made a single rotation on his planned triple loop jump and received no score for the element. He recovered with a double Axel jump and continued with a Level 3 flying sit spin. Unfortunately, he went off balance on a change foot camel spin and the element did not count. His step sequence was graded Level 2 by the technical panel and he was awarded Level 4 for his closing change foot combination spin.

The Dubliner scored 43.07 points and, as he did not finish in the Top 24 in the short programme, was not able to advance to Friday’s free skating.

“I am disappointed that I was not able to skate my best today,” Stakelum said. “On the other hand, I am extremely honoured to have represented Ireland on such a big stage and I am going to work even harder to perform better next time.”

Stakelum was the first male skater from Ireland to participate in an ISU European Figure Skating Championships.