Stephen Judge Appointed ISAI Privacy Officer

The Ice Skating Association of Ireland (ISAI) is pleased to announce the appointment of Stephen Judge as ISAI Data Privacy Officer (DPO).

The role of the ISAI’s DPO involves overseeing how the ISAI handles and protects
individuals’ personal information. This position is responsible for ensuring compliance with data
protection laws, particularly the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and maintaining a strong
focus on safeguarding people’s privacy rights.

“I am happy to be coming on board to help the ISAI in this important role,” Judge said. “Having been impressed with the support the volunteers in this organisation provide to skaters, I thought it would be good to get involved and hopefully reduce some of the pressures placed on them. I am looking forward to meeting everyone.”

“The ISAI is thrilled that Stephen has agreed to become the ISAI’s DPO,” ISAI President Seán Gillis said. “Given his professional background and his involvement with volunteering in ice skating, I cannot think of  anyone more suited to the position.”

Smooth Sailing: Conor Stakelum Embarks on New Career on the High Seas

Following his retirement from international competition in 2022, Irish figure skater Conor Stakelum did not hang up his skates and instead began working in skating shows aboard Royal Caribbean cruise ships. The four-time European competitor talked to us about what life is like as a performer entertaining audiences while sailing from port to port.

What inspired you to become a skater on a cruise ship?
I knew a few skaters who had done it before and the shows looked really good from the clips I had seen. I had also always enjoyed the travelling side of competing and there are a lot of places I want to see so I think it’s a really cool way to travel a lot and also still skate.

What is your favourite part of performing on a cruise ship?
My favourite part is seeing how much the audience is enjoying and appreciating the performances. It is really nice when you get a standing ovation from the audience which actually happens quite a bit because the shows are really good and they are designed really well for the audience. It’s a much more interactive experience than performing while competing which I really enjoy. I also get to enjoy performing much more when I am doing the shows than I was competing because I don’t feel nervous. It’s a much more enjoyable feeling with obviously a different focus.

Can you tell us about a particularly memorable performance or moment on the cruise ship that stands out?
One performance that stands out to me would be the opening night on Oasis of the Seas which is the ship I am on right now because all of our cast got on together and we did rehearsals together on the ship. When we opened the show, it was really nice because we’d all been through the rehearsal process and learning the show and learning our solos and rehearsing, rehearsing, rehearsing and then we finally got to perform for an audience.

How do you stay in shape and maintain your skills while performing on the ship?
We get to practice on the rink on the ship. We always have warm-ups before the shows for half an hour in different groups of three skaters at a time. We practice all our skills before every show and then on other days there is also ice available where we can practice or train if we want to do so. We can also use the gym. It’s a really nice gym and I go there a lot. That’s how I stay in shape and maintain my skills while I am on the ship which is obviously very important because that’s my job.

What advice would you give to someone interested in pursuing a career in figure skating or performing on a cruise ship?
The advice I would give is to work on your skating because the better a skater you are the more chance you have of being hired and also the more enjoyable and easier performing will be for you. For example, you can do a double Axel, but can you do a double Axel in spotlights when you are not really that warm with a heavy costume on and other people really close to you? The more comfortable you are with your skills as a skater, the better you are going to do in any kind of professional setting. That would be my best advice – just work on your skating and be open to new ideas, different styles of music and dance and go for it and apply for things!

What is your favourite destination that you have visited while performing on a cruise ship, and why?
My favourite destination is probably San Juan in Puerto Rico. I found it really beautiful. The old town was absolutely stunning. I hadn’t ever thought of going to San Juan or anywhere like that so I was pleasantly surprised.

How do you collaborate with other performers to create a cohesive show?
During the rehearsal process the whole cast got to know each other quite well. I’ve been very lucky as I have had some really great cast members and we get on really well. You are just always aware of your spacing with other performers, what you are supposed to be doing, on what count of the music everything is supposed to be on because if everyone’s on time and you are all in the right space, the show is going to look good. Just being aware of everybody and getting along well with your cast so that it is enjoyable to perform with other skaters, to create something. When skating is in a competitive environment, it is such an individual sport so it’s really nice to be a team with your cast.

Can you share any behind the scenes insights or secrets about what goes into putting on a successful performance on a cruise ship?
I don’t know if I have any secrets into what goes into putting on a successful performance on a cruise ship, but I would say the most interesting thing is probably when the ship rocks that can be a challenge. You can feel it, but it feels almost as if you are skating up and downhill. You just have to be conscious, especially the pairs teams with their lifts and pairs tricks have got to be careful. All the solo skaters have got to be careful on their jumps obviously because you might land a bit earlier than you were expecting. So, you’ve just got to be prepared for it, but you do get used to it. That would be the biggest challenge and maybe it counts as behind the scenes because you still have to make the show look like the ship isn’t rocking which is definitely a challenge.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time when you are not performing on the ship?
In my free time on and off the ship, I like to explore the ports if I have the chance which mostly I can and see the kind of places where we are. I love to swim in the sea because it is quite warm in the Caribbean. I also like to go to the gym on the ship, even just relaxing on some of the areas of the ship is nice. I pretty much just like to chill out when I am not performing.

Where can people see you perform over the coming months?
For the next few months, I will be aboard Oasis of the Seas between New York, Florida, and the Caribbean.

Irish Figure Skating Championships Wraps Up Skating Season

This weekend (17-18 June) brought the top Irish figure skating talent to the Dundee Ice Arena in Dundee, Scotland for the 2023 edition of the Irish National Figure Skating Championships.

On the opening day competition, champions were crowned in the Senior and Junior ice dance categories.

Carolane Soucisse and Shane Firus (Co. Wexford) made history by becoming the first Senior team to compete at the event. They first performed their rhythm dance to ‘Perdiendo el Control’
by De La Ghetto x Marco Acevedo and ‘Quererte Bonito’ by Elena Rose & Sebastián Yatra. They executed a Level 4 twizzle sequence, Level 4 partial steps and Level 4 rotational lift as well as garnering Level 3 for their midline step sequence scoring 63.84 points.

Soucisse and Firus came back for their free dance which they skated to ‘Hier Encore’ and ‘La Bohème’ by Charles Aznavour. They included Level 4 straight line and Level 4 rotational lifts and a Level 4 dance spin in their performance. Both skaters also earned Level 3 for their diagonal step and one foot turns sequences. They were awarded a score of 96.66 points by the judging panel to give them a combined score of 160.50 points and their first national title.

“Irish Nationals was such a unique and special experience for Shane and I,” Soucisse said. “The warm welcome and support we received from the athletes and members of the federation was absolutely fantastic. Joining the ISAI was the best decision we have made, not only for our skating career but also because we feel like we gained a new family! I would like to thank all members of the ISAI for the unforgettable memories we have made here and for all the ones to come.”

“Irish Nationals was an absolutely amazing experience and we were blown away with how welcoming and warm the ISAI were,” Firus said. “All of the members of the ISAI welcomed us with open arms and made Irish Nationals an experience that we will never forget. For me it was a particularly special moment as growing up my Nana from Gorey, County Wexford always talked about Ireland and how she missed the people. After this past weekend it’s easy to understand why. When we stood at the top of the podium being the first Irish Senior Ice Dance Champions, I was filled with pride thinking of how lucky we are to represent such an incredible country. What made this historic moment even more special were the individuals who shared this moment with us. It was as emotional for them as it was for us.”

2022 champions Laura Hegarty and Kevin Hegarty (Co. Dublin) were competing again this year in the Junior ice dance event. They opened with their rhythm dance to ‘Sombrero Blanco’ from the Mask of Zorro soundtrack by Mala Rumba and ‘Assassin’s Tango’ from the Mr. and Mrs. Smith soundtrack by John Powell. Their routine consisted of five elements with the highest scoring ones the Level 1 diagonal step sequence (5.92) and a Level 2 rotational lift (3.47). They scored 26.55 points for the segment.

Hegarty and Hegarty followed with the free dance to ‘Harem’ by Sarah Brightman. They began with Level 2 and Level 1 synchronised twizzles respectively for Laura and Kevin with a Level 2 dance spin in quick succession. They achieved Level 3 for their rotational lift and Level 1 for their diagonal steps. Their free score of 46.29 points was a big new personal best and also gave them a career best total of 72.84 points for their second Junior title.

The ice and all the conditions for the competition were very good,” Laura Hegarty said. “We started the day very early in the morning, but we were able to skate comfortably. Nationals gives us the chance to see other skaters and it’s nice to cheer each other on.”

“The entire experience was great and it was nice to see our fellow skaters again,” Kevin Hegarty said. “The organisers of the competition were very welcoming, even though it was only our second time visiting. The support from the people watching was also great.”

Dillon Judge (Co. Dublin) moved up to the Senior men’s event this year and commenced his competition on the opening day with his short programme to ‘Smile’ by Nat King Cole. He started off with a cleanly landed triple Salchow and then attempted a triple toe loop combination which resulted in a fall as did an attempt at a double Axel. He posted Level 3 for each of his three spins and Level 2 for his step sequence. He scored 36.04 points for his short.

In the free skating, Judge landed a triple Salchow and back that up with a double Axel. He garnered Level 3 for his flying sit spin and his step sequence in his Jamie Callum medley programme. He racked up a free score of 71.83 points to give him a total of 107.87 points and a first Senior Men’s national title.

“Irish Nationals was a good way to end off this season, with winning my first Senior Irish National title, getting to skate my new short programme, the team building and meeting the new Irish skaters,” Judge said.

Sophia Tkacheva (C0. Wexford) took the lead in the Junior women’s short programme with her routine to ‘Bust Your Knee Caps (Johnny Don’t Leave Me)’ by Pomplamoose . The 2020 champion went for a double Axel, but fell on the jump. She rallied with a double Lutz-double toe loop combination and a solo double loop. Both her layback spin and change foot combination spin garnered Level 4. She stood in first place overnight with a score of 34.48 points.

Ciera Turner-Frick (Co. Cork) in her first appearance at an Irish Championships attempted a double Axel to start her performance, but she also fell. She did recover to land a solo double loop and double flip-double toe loop combination. She closed out her short with a Level 4 change foot combination spin. Her score of 27.01 points put her in second place going into the free skating.

Tkacheva launched into her free skating to “Voila” by Barbara Pravi with a double flip-single Axel sequence. She next attempted a double Axel, but fell on the element. She recovered to reel off two solo double loops and closed out her routine with a Level 4 layback spin. She received a free score of 57.37 points which put her in first place overall with a total of 91.85 points. This is her second Junior National title.

“My experience at Nationals this year was amazing,” Tkacheva said. “I got to skate my last competition of the season and meet all the new skaters that competed here. My expectations for my result were set relatively low considering I’m still recovering and coming back into shape from an injury that had put a stop to my training and competing for two months but regardless of the stress fracture I still went onto the ice and skated my best. It was a great way to end this competitive season and I’m proud of how I was able to focus on my skating and performance.

“This was my last time skating this free programme and I really wanted to pour everything I had into that last skate and I think I did just that. I really loved this programme and I’m glad that the last time that I skated it turned out the way it did. This is the second time that I’ve won Junior Nationals and I was overjoyed to receive this title. As I’ve already said I didn’t expect to come out with the result that I did and winning nationals is a great way for me to end this season and a really proud accomplishment.”

Turner-Frick began her free skating with a double loop and landed a single axel immediately afterwards. She next completed two combination jumps – double flip-double toe loop and double Lutz-double toe loop. The technical panel graded her change foot combination spin Level 4. A mistake on a double Lutz towards the final stage of her programme saw her fall. She scored 52.95 points in the free which gave her an overall score of 79.96 points and second place.

“I really enjoyed meeting all the other Irish skaters and competing at my first Nationals,” Turner-Frick said.

Saoirse O’Sullivan (Co. Tipperary) made her Irish Nationals debut in the Advanced Novice girls category. She laid down a single Axel to begin her short programme and followed with double flip-double toe loop combination. She earned Level 3 for her sit spin and change foot combination spin. She scored 22.97 points.

O’Sullivan embarked on her free skating with a double flip and then a double flip-double toe loop combination. She then succeeded in landing a double loop-single Axel-single Axel sequence and executed a Level 3 flying sit spin. She fell on a double loop later on in her routine, but was able to come back with a Level 3 change foot combination spin to finish. Her free score was 42.49 which gave her a combined total of 65.46 points for first place.

“I can’t express how special this experience has been for me – becoming Advanced Novice Irish Champion 2023 has been a dream come true and I will always remember this amazing feeling,” O’Sullivan said.

2023 Irish National Figure Skating Championships Results

Archived Live Stream

Day 1 Morning

Day 1 Afternoon

Day 2 Afternoon


Top Irish Figure Skaters Set To Compete At National Championships

For the second year in a row, the Irish National Figure Skating Championships will take place at the Dundee Ice Arena in Dundee, Scotland. The event will be held over the course of two days (17-18 June) with eight skaters in five separate categories taking to the ice.After winning the Junior Men’s title twice, Dillon Judge (Co. Down) moves up to contest the Senior Men’s event for the first time. Earlier this year, he began working with his new coach Barbara Luoni at Ice Lab in Bergamo, Italy, an ISU Centre of Excellence.Carolane Soucisse and Shane Firus (Co. Wexford) will be making their Irish Championship debut this weekend. This marks the first occasion a Senior Ice Dance event has been included in the championship programme. The team train in Toronto, Canada with Carol Lane, Jon Lane, Juris Razgulajevs and Marc Andre Servant.Sophia Tkacheva (Co. Wexford) claimed the Junior Women’s silver medal at last season’s championships. She previously won the title back in 2020. Her coaches are two-time European medallist Kevin van der Perren and eleven-time British champion Jenna McCorkell.Ciera Turner-Frick (Co. Cork) is making her first appearance at the Irish Championships where she is entered in the Junior Women’s event. She is coached by Jane de Lange in Oxford, England.Laura Hegarty and Kevin Hegarty (Co. Dublin) made history this season by becoming the first ice dance team to represent Ireland in an ISU competition when they participated at the Junior Grand Prix in Courchevel, France last August. Their coaching team is comprised of Lea Rand and Taavi Rand.Saoirse O’Sullivan (Co. Tipperary) is a first-time competitor at Irish Nationals and she is entered in the Advanced Novice Girls category. She trains with three-time Irish champion Sam McAllister and Margaret O’Neill in Nottingham, England.Regular updates from the Irish National Figure Skating Championships will be posted on the Ice Skating Association of Ireland’s social media accounts.Results Page

Conor Stakelum Appointed ISAI Anti-Doping Officer

The Ice Skating Association is pleased to announce that Conor Stakelum has been appointed as ISAI Anti-Doping Officer.

Stakelum has represented Ireland in multiple international competitions, including four European Figure Skating Championships. He graduated from University College Dublin with a degree in microbiology and has previously worked in medical science.

“I am confident that Conor will make a valuable contribution to the ISAI’s efforts to promote clean sport and protect the health and well-being of our athletes,” ISAI President Seán Gillis said.

McAllister Takes His Final Bow

Irish figure skater Sam McAllister (24) has announced his retirement from competition, bringing an end to a successful career on the ice.

In 2018, McAllister became only the second athlete from Ireland to compete at the World Junior Figure Skating Championships. He became the third Irish skater to participate in the European Figure Skating Championships in January 2023 where he finished 28th. This would ultimately be his final competition. He also holds three national senior titles.

In his retirement statement, McAllister expressed his gratitude for the support he received throughout his skating career. He thanked his coach and all those who have encouraged him throughout his years as a competitive skater.

“I have had the honour of being able to share this great journey with my mother as my coach. I look forward to my journey of now coaching alongside her.

“I just want to say a huge thank you to everyone that’s been a part of my skating journey, I can’t even begin to list everyone, but just know you have all had a huge impact on not just me as a skater but me as a person and I am so grateful to you all.

“I do want to give a special thanks to the Irish Federation for the support they have shown me over these years.”

“Although Sam’s retirement from competition marks the end of one chapter of his life, I look forward to seeing him stay involved in the further development of Irish figure skating,” ISAI President Seán Gillis said. “I would like to thank him for the many memorable moments he brought to the world of Irish figure skating.”

Irish Figure Skating Championships 2023

The Ice Skating Association of Ireland (ISAI) is pleased to announce that the Irish Figure Skating Championships 2023 will take place on 17-18 June at the Dundee Ice Arena in Dundee, Scotland.

This will be the second time the Dundee Ice Arena has hosted the event. Entries are open to competitors in Advanced Novice singles and Junior and Senior singles and ice dance.

“Following on from the successful staging last year, we are delighted to be returning to the Dundee Ice Arena once again,” ISAI President Seán Gillis said. “This year’s championships are being held a little later than usual, but we are looking forward to seeing the best Irish figure skating talent close out the 2022/2023 season in style.”

The Championship Announcement and Entry Form can be found on the dedicated event page. The entry deadline is 5pm, 5 May 2023.

Women In Sport Week: Active Participation

To mark Women In Sport Week (6-12 March), the Ice Skating Association of Ireland asked the women who make ice skating happen in Ireland a series of questions to hear about the challenges and unique culture of the sport within the country.

The theme for today is Active Participation. The ISAI’s Emerald Skate Learn To Skate programme is the great success story of Irish skating with demand continuing to grow year on year for the courses. It is a programme that also happens to be administered, taught and participated in almost entirely by women. ISAI CEO Karen O’Sullivan shares her thoughts on why women are so instrumental in ice skating in Ireland.

You have been involved in the Emerald Skate programme since its inception and it has always had very high percentage of female participation. What is it about ice skating that appeals to women so much as a sport?

O’Sullivan: Gosh, the Emerald Skate programme has to be my highlight of skating in Ireland. Yes, it is  predominantly women, but we encourage the boys too. I think it’s the challenge, the sense of accomplishment on a medium so outside our comfort zone that allows women to realise our freedom and self-reliance. Skating is all you. When the skater stands on the ice and pushes forward, she is in control. It’s a space for women to express themselves and discover their inner strengths. When a women puts on a pair of skates she becomes a skater. There is no gender divide.

Women in sport have historically faced barriers to participation and recognition. Have you experienced any challenges or obstacles in ice skating in Ireland because of your gender?

O’Sullivan: I am sure there have been, but with the perseverance that skating has taught me I have ignored them. We don’t use the #UpAgain hashtag in ice skating for no reason! Our sport develops a strong inner core to face and overcome any obstacle life puts in front of us.

What do you feel are the positive aspects of being a woman involved in ice skating in Ireland?

O’Sullivan: Respect. Respect from and for each other. We know the mental and physical demands the sport requires from putting on your first pair of skates to stepping onto World Championship ice, and everything in between. We admire and support each other. Even though we might not get the respect, understanding and recognition from those not directly involved in our sport, it is empowering to see women supporting women at all ages, celebrating each other’s accomplishments. Some of my best moments have been when a younger skater lands her first axel jump and her faces lights up with the realisation she ian do It. Sometimes it’s the child that lets go of the penguin and moves freely to the centre ice. The parent’s face as they realise their child can cope with any adversary.

Representation and visibility are important issues in all areas of life, including sport. What would you like to see happen in the world of ice skating to encourage more women to participate and succeed ?

O’Sullivan: Two things.

One: The perception that the sport is “fluffy” changes. There is nothing soft about the falls, the cuts, the blisters, the pain, the heart-breaking frustration waiting for it to click, the cold, the unsocial hours, the isolation, the core strength and fitness that is need, the mental and physical strength for endurance that is necessary. Did I mention the cold? And through all this the skater has to give the appearance that it is easy. It is not. I would like credit to be given for what the skater does to effortlessly glide across the ice on a steel blade no thicker than 4.8mm!

Two: Meaningful support for access, to give the girls and the boys more ice in Ireland.

Women In Sport Week: Leadership & Governance

To mark Women In Sport Week (6-12 March), the Ice Skating Association of Ireland asked the women who make ice skating happen in Ireland a series of questions to hear about the challenges and unique culture of the sport within the country.

The theme for today is Leadership and Governance. Clara Peters was the first skater to represent Ireland in international competitions and she competed four times at both the European and World Championships. She is currently the Vice-President of the ISAI.

What inspired you to get involved in ice skating, and how has the sport influenced your life?

Peters: I have no fancy story, I wasn’t at a birthday party, I didn’t grown up watching ice skating movies, I just knew I was always going to spend my life in the skating world. To say skating has influenced my life is an understatement. I have participated in many roles, I have been a competitor, a coach, a technical specialist, a board member, and now I am the Vice-President of the National Governing Body. I have travelled the world, met many interesting people, learnt how to be strong and resilient. In short, ice skating has made me into the person I am today.

Women in sport have historically faced barriers to participation and recognition. Have you experienced any challenges or obstacles in ice skating in Ireland because of your gender?

Peters: I have faced all the possible barriers that there are, including gender. In the very early days I was only seen as a girl in a sparkly dress doing a novelty activity. At that time few even recognised ice skating as a sport in Ireland. In the early days of my competitive career ice skating was treated as a lifestyle segment. It took time to make the sport pages as I continued to write ice skating history for Ireland. For me just to be featured on the sport page was a massive win. Even though Figure Skating is perceived as a female dominated sport, even in Ireland, I find it is still hard for our voice to be heard, and our skills to shine.

What do you feel are the positive aspects of being a woman involved in ice skating in Ireland?

Peters: The unexpected positive I have found is the great sense of community that exists in Irish ice skating. I have gotten to play many roles in ice skating in Ireland and the common trend has been the wonderful ice skating family we have built. From the skaters I’ve coached, their moms with cups of tea at the ready, the volunteers making sure every event runs smoothly, the coaches I’ve gotten to work alongside – these friendships now go beyond the skating world. I have gotten to know girls who watched me compete become my students. I have gotten to help skaters grow from their first days on the ice to the next generation of coaches.

Ice Skating has empowered me to persevere. I quickly learnt that success comes with hard work. Ice Skating allowed me to achieve my childhood dreams. I set out to be the first skater for Ireland, I have won National titles, International medals, and been to European and World Championships. I received recognition in the form of Sport Awards and IOC Scholarships, sectors I never expected to support me.

Representation and visibility are important issues in all areas of life, including sport. What would you like to see happen in the world of ice skating to encourage more women to participate and succeed ?

Peters: The women in Irish ice skating are a creative and resourceful group. We are determined to be on the ice, even when many would have given up. Without question an ice rink that is open for more than 12 weeks is critical to give women in Ireland greater representation in their chosen sport and physical activity. As we continue to develop ice sports in Ireland I fear the start-stop nature of seasonal rinks will hinder a lot of girls and young women staying in the sport. If ice skating was perceived by the government as a serious sport and physical actively we would have hundreds of women and girls involved on a weekly basis throughout the country; it’s time our government gets behind the women of Ireland and commits to providing facilities and opportunity.

Women In Sport Week: Coaching And Officiating (Part 2)

To mark Women In Sport Week (6-12 March), the Ice Skating Association of Ireland asked the women who make ice skating happen in Ireland a series of questions to hear about the challenges and unique culture of the sport within the country.

The theme for today is Coaching and Officiating. In the second of two parts, we hear from Margery Hilko who was the first judge from Ireland to officiate at an international competition.

What inspired you to get involved in ice skating, and how has the sport influenced your life?

Hilko: Ice skating has been very important to me. I skated when I was younger, as well as dance and a number of other sports, but figure skating was always my biggest love. I remember growing up watching my idols like Paul Wylie and Yuka Sato in the Olympics and jumping around the house to my mother’s horror. When I moved to Ireland and was afforded the chance to become involved with ice skating, I jumped at it. Judging has been a wonderful way to still be involved in the sport I love.

Becoming a judge has really helped me grow both personally and professionally. Many of the skills I’ve developed judging, like spotting details and making quick decisions, have great applicability to my everyday work. It has given me a lot of confidence and the belief and skills that I can overcome obstacles.

While I don’t get on the ice as much as I’d like to anymore, it has provided me so many opportunities to grow and learn.

Women in sport have historically faced barriers to participation and recognition. Have you experienced any challenges or obstacles in ice skating in Ireland because of your gender?

Hilko: Skating in Ireland is lucky to have a core of strong women who have been dedicated to helping skating, and other women, succeed in Ireland. I have benefited from this, and am very grateful for all the support and opportunities I’ve been given.

The ISAI has always been very accepting of women, so I don’t feel that in Ireland my gender has been a challenge within the sport. However, the opportunities afforded to skating in Ireland have probably been hampered by the perception that it is a ‘women’s sport’ despite Ireland having successful male skaters as well. This has hurt the sports development in Ireland, in my opinion. I think this has meant that the sport has been given lower priority in terms of funding from outside sources.

What do you feel are the positive aspects of being a woman involved in ice skating in Ireland?

Hilko: Being a woman in ice skating in Ireland has been incredibly rewarding. Our smaller community has meant that we are very supportive to each other in our development, both on and off the ice.

Representation and visibility are important issues in all areas of life, including sport. What would you like to see happen in the world of ice skating to encourage more women to participate and succeed ?

Hilko: The easy answer is always to say better access to ice time. The past few years have seen a lot of rinks go under or close.

However, the skating world has also seen a lot of officials leaving during this time period as well. I would love to see more Irish take up the other side of skating and become an official. Irish skaters have the opportunity to skate across the globe, and we don’t currently have judges to send to every competition.

Officials are a vital part of ensuring that our skaters can properly develop. If we had more who were interested, we could assist skaters better, as well as increasing Irish visibility outside of the country. There are lots of opportunities to participate and find personal success as an official too.