National Exhibition Competition 2012 Results
(28/05/12) - The results of the National Exhibition Competition held on 26 May 2012 are now available at the following link:
Brownell O'Connor Double Gold In Obertsdorf
(28/05/12) - Following on from his gold and silver performance last year, Brownell O'Connor went one better this season to claim two titles at the ISU Adult Figure Skating Competition 2012 in Obertsdorf Germany. Over 300 competitors from 28 countries made the trip to the Bavarian town.
The small Alpine resort plays host to the annual event, deemed unofficially "Adult Worlds", in May every year and O'Connor was entered in both the Bronze Men II Free Skating and Bronze Men II Artistic Free Skating categories. In the former he skated flawlessy landing three jump combinations and a flip jump as well as completing two spins and footwork sequence to score 27.19 points. He won gold by over four points from the silver medallist and improved on his winning total from last year by nearly six points.
In the artistic event where technical elements are not scored the Dubliner once again emerged on top with a score of 13.45 points. It has been a very successful and busy month with O'Connor's daughter Courtney medalling at the recent Impaired Skating Event in Scotland.
Irish National Exhibition Competition 2012 First Event Held
At National Ice Sports Arena
(25/05/12) - The Ice Skating Association of Ireland (ISAI) is delighted to be able to organise the first competition to be held at the new National Ice Sports Arena in Santry this Saturday afternoon, 26 May 2012. The Irish National Exhibition Competition 2012 will feature 23 skaters competing in 8 different categories. The competitors will be solely judged on Programme Component Scores (PCS).
The event kicks off at 3pm and spectators are advised to dress warmly as the rink is quite cold.
Courtney O'Connor Bags Silver At Dumfries Impaired Skating Competition
(14/05/12) - Ice Skating Association of Ireland (ISAI) member Courtney O'Connor was in action over the weekend at the first ever Impaired Skating event in Dumfries, Scotland. O'Connor was the sole representative from Ireland and competed in the Level 5 Ladies Free Skating category.
Skating to a Middle Eastern tinged selection of music from the "Prince of Persia" film soundtrack, she completed a single flip/single toeloop combination as well as a single toeloop, a single salchow and a single flip. She also included a choreographic step sequence and a spiral as well as two spins to give her a total of 13.88 points and second place in the competition.
Edward Alton Appointed Senior Coach At National Ice Sports Arena
(01/05/12) - The Ice Skating Association of Ireland (ISAI) is pleased to announce the appointment of Edward Alton to the figure skating coaching team as Senior Coach at the National Ice Sports Arena in Santry, Dublin. Originally from Belfast, Alton competed internationally for Great Britain in pairs before retiring in 2010 to obtain his coaching qualifications. As well as group lessons, he will also be giving private lessons on certain specified sessions.
While the National Ice Sports Arena will officially open later in the summer, lessons and freestyle sessions will be held over the coming weeks. At present, there is one NHL-sized rink (56m x 25m) which is only available for use by members of the national skating, ice hockey and curling governing bodies. The schedule for lessons over the coming two weeks is as follows:
Introductory Session At New National Ice Sports Arena in Dublin This Saturday
(25/04/12) - The long awaited and anticipated National Ice Sports Arena will finally open its doors this weekend to members of the Ice Skating Association of Ireland (ISAI). Ice time on the NHL-sized rink will be available from 9am till 11am on Saturday 28th April for €10 per hour. No lessons will be held on the day and it will be present a perfect opportunity to get a feel for the ice!
Only members of the ISAI, the Irish Ice Hockey Association (IIHA) and Irish Curling Association (ICA) will be able to use the rink, so it is essential that you renew or sign up for ISAI membership if you wish to be among the first to use this wonderful facility.
The rink is located in the Santry Hall Industrial Estate, next to the Omni Park Shopping Centre. For further details, directions and information on membership, please contact the ISAI at email@example.com .
Fianait Bligh Places 16th At Coupe de l'OMS
(13/04/12) - Easter proved to be a busy time for Irish skaters with Nationals taking place on Good Friday and Fianait Bligh participating in the 29th edition of the Coupe de l'OMS in Saint Ouen in the northern suburbs of Paris the following day.
Bligh competed in the 3rd Division of the Novice Ladies along with skaters from Belgium, Denmark and France. She opened her free skating programme with a nice single axel and went on to land a double loop and a single salchow. She also executed a nice step sequence. Unfortunately, she had one fall and the technical panel downgraded all three of her double toeloops, but all in all it was a positive experience for the youngster.
Bligh scored 15.48 points to end up in 16th place.
From L-R: Brona Nic Gabhann, Conor Stakelum, Clara Peters, Brendan Dorrian, Deirdre Faegre
Irish National Championships 2011-2012
(08/04/12) - It was a very Good Friday evening as the Irish National Championships for the 2011-2012 season took place at the Dundonald International Ice Bowl on the outskirts of Belfast. The event had been scheduled to take place at the brand new National Ice Sports Arena in Dublin, but due to technical issues the competition had to be rearranged at short notice. There were skaters in five different categories. While the entry list may have been on the small side, it was thrilling to see the best in Irish figure skating displaying their skills on the ice.
Brona Nic Gabhann was crowned Novice Ladies champion. Skating to "Gettysburg", Nic Gabhann showed pleasing lines and opened with a single axel and a single lutz. She attempted a double salchow, but wasn't successful on this occasion. She recovered well with a single loop/single loop combination and a straightline step sequence in keeping with her music.
Based in Lake Tahoe, California, Deirdre Faegre won the Junior Ladies title. Faegre performed to Rachmaninov and began with a double lutz which unfortunately she fell on. She rallied back with a double loop/double toeloop combination attempt and nailed a second double lutz. She also had some nice spins and a spiral in her programme.
While he didn't try a triple flip in the warm-up or competition, Conor Stakelum has been practising the jump in his training. Stakelum reeled off several triple jumps with ease in the six minute warm-up period, but singling an axel as his opening jump disrupted his concentration which affected him for a time during his "Otonal" routine. He eventually landed a good double axel and rotated a triple toeloop and will put this competition down as a learning experience to further develop his undoubted potential.
Fresh from her superb showing at the World Championships last month, Clara Peters was not feeling her best as she was suffering from a very bad cold. Nevertheless, she showed tremendous courage after a nasty fall on a second double axel to complete a very respectable routine to "Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini" and show why she is the leading Irish skater at the moment. This was her third national Senior Ladies gold.
The final event of the competition was Senior Men and Brendan Dorrian claimed his first Irish title with a very well-presented and choreographed free skating programme. He executed two double axels and four triple jumps to cheers from the crowd. Dorrian trains in East Kilbride in Scotland.
Well done to all the skaters and everybody involved in organising a very successful event!
Senior Men (Free Skating)
1. Brendan Dorrian - 95.58 points
Senior Ladies (Free Skating)
1. Clara Peters - 71.63 points
Junior Men (Free Skating)
1. Conor Stakelum - 61.81 points
Junior Ladies (Free Skating)
1. Deirdre Faegre - 36.06 points
Novice Ladies (Free Skating)
1. Brona Nic Gabhann - 17.94 points
Clara Peters Skates Personal Best At World Figure Skating Championships
(29/3/12) - Once again Clara Peters performed to her full potential at the World Figure Skating Championships in Nice. The Dubliner skated first out of the thirty competitors who had qualified for the short programme at the rink inside the Palais des Expositions. She included a double axel and high level spins and footwork which she interpreted to music from "The Notebook" film soundtrack.
Peters was at a disadvantage skating first, but nevertheless recorded a score of 34.03 points which was a new personal best. Unfortunately, it was not enough to advance to the free skating on Saturday night. However, her 29th place is the highest the Irish champion has ever attained at the World Championships in her four appearances.
"I'm happy to finish my last international competition this season with two clean programmes. The main goal coming into this event was to qualify from the preliminary round and anything beyond that was a bonus. It gives me confidence going in to next year and I hope to up the technical difficulty of my programmes to earn more points."
With the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi a mere two years away, Peters has put herself in the frame to accomplish her dream and become the first figure skater from Ireland to compete at the Games. Unlike the World Championships, only the Top 30 in the world can participate in the Olympics and the next two seasons will be important for her to solidify her position among the very best globally.
Clara Peters Marches Through Preliminary Round
At World Figure Skating Championships
(27/3/12) - At the Palais des Expositions in Nice today, Clara Peters (20) skated in the preliminary round free skating of the ladies event at the World Figure Skating Championships 2012. Peters performed 9th out of 33 competitors and was put on the ice by her coach Karen Ludington. The Terenure native interpreted "Rhapsody On A Theme of Paganini" by Sergei Rachmaninov and hit all of her planned elements, including two double axel jumps and a Level 4 combination spin. The audience erupted when she finished and Peters was overcome with emotion at the realisation at what she had achieved. The judges awarded her a score of 73.96 points, a new personal best.
The Dubliner had a nervous wait for the rest of the competition to see if she could advance as only the top 12 move on to the short programme on Thursday afternoon. In the end, she was successful and qualified in 11th place much to her own delight.
"I'm thrilled to have qualified at the World Championships. I was able to focus and go out and do my job. I didn't want to get too far ahead of myself because there were a lot of quality skaters in the preliminary round. I am extremely happy and satisfied that I was able to deliver my best today."
Peters's qualification puts her in the top 30 globally which is the benchmark for world figure skating. It's all the more remarkable given that she is self-funded and had to move to the USA in 2006 for better coaching and training conditions.
She will next skate in the ladies short programme which will take place on Thursday afternoon from 12:30pm (11:30 am Irish time).
Well done Clara!
Clara Peters Prepares To Shine At Figure Skating Worlds In Nice
(26/3/12) - This Tuesday morning Clara Peters will take to the ice at the World Figure Skating Championships 2012 (26 March to 1 April) at the Palais des Expositions in Nice, France.
It will be the fourth straight time that the Irish ladies champion has qualified to compete at the World Championships and her first task will be to navigate the preliminary free skating round. 32 skaters will participate and only the top 12 will advance to the short programme on Thursday afternoon. The calibre of the field is very high, but Peters has shown herself to be a feisty competitor as evidenced by her eighth place finish in the preliminary round at the European Championships in Sheffield in January.
"I'm really excited to be here in Nice. It's a city I've competed in several times and I'm looking forward to skating here again. I hope to be able to do my best to cap off the season."
The World Figure Skating Championships is held annually and has been organised under the auspices of the International Skating Union (ISU) since 1896. Clara Peters was the first skater to represent Ireland at the Championships in 2009. In 2012, a record number of 219 competitors will take part in four different categories: solo ladies, solo men, pairs and ice dance.
From L-R: Thomas McDermott (SDCSP), Jason Sherlock (Louis Fitzgerald Hotel), Ronald Warren (ISAI), Stephen Leonard (The Echo)
January Sports Star Of The Month Award For Clara Peters
(1/3/12) - At a ceremony in Dublin, Clara Peters was announced as The Echo Sports Star of the Month for January 2012 for her achievements at the European Figure Skating Championships in Sheffield. The selection panel recognised her feat of qualifying through the preliminary round to the short programme in a high quality field as well as her progress over the past few seasons.
As Clara is currently training in the United States in preparation for this month's World Championships in Nice, the award was presented by Dublin GAA football star Jason Sherlock to Ronald Warren who represented the Ice Skating Association at the event.
The Echo Sports Star of the Month Award is sponsored by the The Echo newspaper group in associated with the Louis Fitzgerald Hotel and the South Dublin County Sports Partnership (SDCSP).
Alex Bowker-Lonnecker 5th, Brona Nic Gabhann 19th At Kempen Trophy 2012
(6/2/12) - Two young Irish skaters competed over the weekend at the Kempen Trophy 2012 in Turnhout, Belgium. Alex Bowker-Lonnecker was entered in the Novice A Boys division and finished in 5th place with a score of 13.68 points. Brona Nic Gabhann participated in the Novice A Girls Group 2 category and received 14.30 points to end up in 19th position in a large and competitive field.
Results and detailed protocols can be found at the Kempen Trophy 2012 official site.
Clara Peters Finishes In 28th Place
At European Figure Skating Championships 2012
(27/1/12) - This afternoon at the Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield Clara Peters (20) represented Ireland at the European Figure Skating Championships 2012. She was drawn to skate third in the first group of the short programme and interpreted music from "The Notebook" by Aaron Zigman.
The Dubliner opened with a double lutz/double loop jump combination and then cleanly rotated a double axel jump, but singled a planned double flip jump. She earned a Level 3 for her straightline step sequence and her combination spin to give her a score of 30.88 points. This was just 0.03 points short of her personal best from last year's European Championships despite the mistake on the flip and is evidence that Peters continues to improve.
"I'm disappointed with how I skated as I know I can do much better. I'm going to learn from this experience and do better in Nice at the World Championships in March", Peters stated in a post-skate interview.
Peters qualified earlier this week in the preliminary round in a very tough field, but unfortunately she narrowly missed out on progressing to tomorrow's free skating final.
Clara Peters Advances To The Short Programme
At 2012 European Figure Skating Championships
(24/1/12) - Ireland's national champion Clara Peters once again showed her mettle in Sheffield this afternoon at the
an FigureSkating Championships 2012 during the ladies preliminary round and qualified to skate in the next stage of the event this Friday.
Peters was up against 22 other skaters from around Europe and she skated second in the draw. Normally, an early start is seen as a disadvantage, but the 20 year old Dubliner performed flawlessly to "Rhapsody On A Theme of Paganini" by Rachmaninoff. She included two double axel jumps with difficult spins and footwork among other elements to score 69.92 points which represents a new personal best and put her in eighth place. Only the top ten qualify to compete in the short programme which takes place on Friday afternoon.
Congratulations to Clara on her impressive achievement and good luck to her for the rest of the championships!
Clara Peters Steels Herself For Sheffield
European Figure Skating Championships 2012
(23/1/12) - Clara Peters will face the best figure skaters in Europe as she competes in the European Figure Skating Championships 2012 (23-29 January) which this year are being hosted in the English city of Sheffield.
This will be the fourth consecutive time that the Terenure native has qualified to appear at the annual championships and she will first participate in the Free Skating Preliminary Round on Tuesday afternoon (24 January) at the Motorpoint Arena. Peters successfully negotiated this round at last years Europeans with ease and even though the competition is tougher than ever this year she goes into the event in good form.
The Dubliner was the first Irish skater to compete at a European Championships in 2009. She is the only Irish representative in action this week in Sheffield.
The European Figure Skating Championships is held annually and is the longest running competition designated a championships by the International Skating Union (ISU), the sport's governing body, with a history stretching back to 1891. In 2012, 174 skaters from 37 countries will compete in four different categories: solo ladies, solo men, pairs and ice dance.
ISAI National Test Success
Congratulations to all members who participated in the test session held at the Dundrum Ice Rink. Even though it was a cold early morning start the skaters put in outstanding performances demonstrating their hard work though out the season.
Back Row: Oisin O’Neill, Conor Stakelum, Sarah McCutcheon, Aisling Boyle, Aaron Rowley, Grainne Wray, Front Row: Brona Nic Gabhann, Aoife McGrath, Fainait Bligh
Clare and Conor bring home Gold
First competition of the season for Junior competitors Clare McIntyre and Conor Skatelum was the recent Finlandia Cup, Belgium. This International Club Competition attracted over 120 entries from 8 ISU Members.
This was both Conor’s and Clare’s first Junior Competition. It was a big step up for both competitors and a great experience in this new category. Conor earned himself a score of 73.05 with his free skate. “I had set my set a few goals, one of which was to land both triples clean and I did that” Conor remarked. “It was a huge experience for me, with lots of firsts, even competing so late in the day, I had never done that before! ”
With this experience now behind both skaters they are back to preparing for the next competition.
Ice Skating Lessons a Hit at Dundrum on Ice
The ISAI Emerald Skate registered programme at Dundrum on Ice is now into its 3rd week and all classes are full! With over 70 skaters now signed up, and practicing their skills on the ice, Dundrum on Ice could be the centre of the next new generation of Irish skaters!
Cork on Ice is now also registered with the ISAI Emerald Skate programme and classes start this Sunday the 20th of November. Contact Liane at Cork on Ice for more information. But hurry as they too are nearly full!
Training at Dundrum on Ice
The ISAI Emerald Skate Programme and National Freestyle classes commenced at the weekend in Dundrum with over 60 skaters now enrolled over the different ISAI programmes. It is possible now to see the junior team of skaters practicing early mornings and late evenings as they prepare for up coming competitions this season. Conor Skatelum and Clare McIntyre both head off to Belgium next week to compete at Junior level in the Finlandia Cup 2011. We wish them both the best of luck,
There are still a few spaces left on Sunday for those that missed the start of the season. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
A Start to a New Season
It has been a busy few weeks for the Irish figure skating team, as the 2011/2012 season got under way in earnest in late September. Irish national champion Clara Peters made her season debut at the 43rd Nebelhorn Trophy in the Bavarian alpine resort of Oberstdorf, Germany. The Terenure native performed a lively short programme and, despite making a few errors, notched up a score of 29.96 points which was only less than a point off her personal best. Peters skated a much more composed free skating programme and pulled up a few places to finish in 19th place with a personal best total score of 91.27 points. Her next competition is the Coupe de Nice at the end of October.
New Ice Dance Classes at Dundrum on Ice 2011!
This year will see Ice Dance introduced at Dundrum on Ice starting November 8th! Classes will run the normal 6 weeks with optional testing in week 7! It is recommended that participants hold Emerald Skate Level 8, however figure skating experience and competence on ice is necessary. Places are limited so the class will fill on a first come first served basis. Email email@example.com for application forms
Ice Skating Lessons at Dundrum on Ice
Don’t miss out this year at Dundrum on Ice, learn to skate like the professionals! The ISAI learn to skate programme, Emerald Skate will commence on the 5th of November for a 7 week course again this season. The lessons will offer beginners and not so beginners an opportunity to brush up their skating skills in time for Christmas. The classes will be Saturday and Sunday mornings 9am to 10am, costing €125.00 plus ISAI membership, this includes testing and certification on the final week. For more information and an application form contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Over the last couple of months plans have been progressing on the opening of an ice facility in North Dublin which will provide all the Ice Governing Bodies an opportunity to develop their sports from grassroots to elite levels. The management behind this company have stated that they wish to see the facility as a National Ice Sports Training and Development Facility, much like an Ice factory producing young Ice Athletes in all the Ice Sports.
The facilities management have to date worked with all the Ice Sport Governing Bodies and the proposal is that the facility will adopt a similar operation to the North American model, where ice time is rented per session via the Governing Bodies. There would initially be no Public Skate Sessions. This will be a huge opportunity for all the sports of Figure Skating, Synchronised Skating, Speed Skating, Ice Hockey and Curling. The ISAI are delighted with this commitment from management and should the ice facility open will be establishing the first Irish National Skate School implementing programmes to follow a structured development pathway from boards to podium.
Representatives of the ISAI have visited the proposed site for this training facility and are delighted to see that a ice pad similar to an NHL ice rink can be housed perfectly within the space and sufficient auxiliary space allows for future growth and development for all ice sports. There is still a lot of work to be done if this project is to open. With everyone’s support and co operation it will be possible!
Summer International Club Competitions
During July, Deirdre Faegre (17) represented the ISAI at Liberty Summer Competition 2011 in Aston Pennsylvania, USA. Liberty is one of the largest competitions on the east coast of the USA and allows competitors to showcase their new programmes early in the season. Skating to Palladio, Deirdre skated 5th in the short programme earning a total of 19.01 her long programme was performed to Autumn Leaves, turning in a total program score of 60.64 to place 13th overall in her group.
Brendan Dorain took to the ice in Sk8Scotland’s first international inter club completion held in Aberdeen, Scotland at the beginning of August. Executing triple combinations and level 1 spins and steps Brendan earned a total programme score of 110.46 to place 2nd.
New Training Ground for Irish Champion The 2010 Men’s National Champion Viv Parnell-Murphy, who is based in the UK has left his home rink in Slough; England, and is now training with World and Olympic coach Yuri Bureiko at the International School of Skating in Coventry and Milton Keynes.
After a quiet season last year, Viv believes that the move will provide him with renewed motivation, and that under Yuri’s expert guidance he can improve significantly in all areas of his skating. Viv will also be working with Vicky Ogden, who will be assisting with the choreography of both his Short and Free programs for the coming season. At the beginning of August Viv joined top coaches and skaters at a two week training camp in Ozolnieki, Latvia. When asked about his move and the coming season Viv replied:
“I’m very happy to be working with Yuri and his coaching team at the International School of Skating. After only a short while I am noticing improvement in all areas of my skating. I’m looking forwards to the training camp in August and I hope it will provide a good build up to the coming season. I’ve set myself a goal of reaching the European Championships in Sheffield, England at the beginning of next year, and I feel I’m now in a good place to be able to achieve this.”
Dublin born Brownell O’Connor represented Ireland at the ISU Adult Competition 2011 in Obersdorf in early June bringing home 2 more ISU medals. The competition is the High point on the International calendar for Adult skaters and this year’s event saw 330 competitors from 25 countries competing for the medals.
Skating to “The Egg Travel” by Disney Brownell’s programme included 4 jump elements which included Flip- Loop, Loop - Toe Loop combinations and the higher jump element of a Lutz all earning a high score of 21.73 points to take the gold medal.
Following his success in the Bronze Men’s II Free Skate, he also competed in the Silver and Bronze Men II Artistic event on Thursday morning. Entertaining the audience with a stunning performance Brownell earned himself 13.59 points to capture the Silver Medal.
“Training for these events has not been easy, I have had to travel to Belfast since the rinks close in Dublin in late January and believe it or not trained in Dubai where it was easier to get ice!” Brownell said, but his hard work and numerous trips to rinks all over the world paid off once again as Brownell demonstrated the love and commitment the Irish are prepared to give this growing sport in Ireland.