A total of seven athletes will represent Ireland internationally in figure skating competitions in the 2023/2024 season.
Dillon Judge claimed his first senior national title in June this year. He is now permanently based in Bergamo, Italy where he works with Barbara Luoni at Ice Lab as his main coach.
“This season I’m very excited about being on the National Team, with it being my first at Senior level this opens up more opportunities and experiences for me to grow as a skater,” Judge said. “In addition, this season will be my first full season with my new team of coaches, choreographer and I will be debuting two new programmes. Obviously, this adds new challenges, but I’m confident in myself and my team to make the biggest step forward in my skating career so far. Being surrounded by athletes with the same goals and aspirations makes it even easier to strive for success.”
Carolane Soucisse and Shane Firus are first time National Team members. They won the first Senior Ice Dance event ever held at the Irish Figure Skating Championships back in June. They are coached by Carol Lane, Jon Lane, Juris Razgulajevs and Marc Andre Servant in Toronto, Canada.
“It’s an immense privilege for Shane and I to be able to represent Ireland on the international stage,” Soucisse said. “We cannot wait for the season to begin!”
“I’m super excited to be selected for the national team this season, and to have the opportunity to represent Ireland on the world stage,” Firus added.
Sophia Tkacheva picked up the second Junior title of her career at 2023 Irish Nationals. She includes eleven-time British champion Jenna McCorkell and two-time European bronze medallist Kevin van der Perren in her coaching team.
“I am very excited to be selected for the Irish National Team this season,” Tkacheva said. “This opportunity will give me the chance to exhibit my hard work over the summer and a chance to attend international competitions, such as the Junior Grand Prix in Istanbul.”
Ciera Turner-Frick finished second in the Junior Women’s event last season’s Irish championships. This is her first time to be chosen for the National Team. She is coached by Jane de Lange in Oxford, England.
“I am delighted to be selected for the National Team and excited to compete in my first ever Junior Grand Prix in October,” Turner-Frick said.
Laura Hegarty and Kevin Hegarty took their second Junior Ice Dance national title in June. They are currently under the tutelage of Taavi Rand who is based in Tallinn, Estonia.
“I am very happy to be selected to the National Team again this season,” Laura Hegarty said. “Skaters and ISAI officials often travel as a group, take transport together from the airport to competition accommodation, travel to official practice etc. Although times can be tense around competitions, I always have a great time with fellow team members. The support from the National Team is amazing.”
“This is my second year as a Junior and second time to be selected to the National Team,” Kevin Hegarty said. “The experience we had last season was great. The team spirit is always so high. I enjoyed competing at international events with my fellow team members.
“I hope that Laura and I can improve each technical element during this season. At the same time, we hope to polish the flow of our whole performance as an ice dance programme.”
National Team Members (Figure Skating):
Senior Men – Dillon Judge (County Dublin)
Senior Ice Dance – Carolane Soucisse/Shane Firus (County Wexford)
Junior Women – Sophia Tkacheva (County Wexford), Ciera Turner-Frick (County Cork)
Junior Ice Dance – Laura Hegarty/Kevin Hegarty (County Dublin)
You can learn more about our national team members here.