2019-20 British & Irish Figure Skating

CaroLiza_fan

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Update on the situation in NI - the date that ice rinks can re-open has been brought forward to 17[SUP]th[/SUP] July (i.e. next Friday).

Well, I think that's the case. Ice rinks were not specifically mentioned on the BBC story. But they were on the RTÉ story:

https://www.rte.ie/news/regional/2020/0709/1152303-northern-ireland/

There's no word yet on when the rink in Dundonald will actually open, though.



On a different note, I don't know if you saw the post I put up in the "You Know You're A Figure Skating Fan When..." thread this morning, but yesterday I watched a film in which Benny Hill played an ice rink sweeper. And there was a lengthy skating scene at the start.

When I looked up the IMDB page for "Who Done It?" (1956) afterwards, I was able to find out who some of the skaters were. Unfortunately, not many of the skaters were listed. But of the ones that were, there was one name that I recognised - Jean Alsop.

I then did a search for the names, and Jean was the only one that came up with anything. A few months after the film was released, Jean and 5 other British skaters were pictured before they left for America to join the Ice Capades.

https://www.alamy.com/jul-07-1956-f...day-skating-starlets-leave-image69300750.html
https://www.alamy.com/jul-07-1956-f...day-skating-starlets-leave-image69300766.html

AND ONE OF THEM WAS FROM NORTHERN IRELAND!!! :cheer: :clap: :rock: :party2: :points: :hb:

Vera McColgan, from Portadown, Co. Armagh.

Here are some pictures of her from 1954 at Whipsnade Zoo with another skater, Trudi Nugent:

https://www.gettyimages.co.uk/detai...e-now-playing-at-londons-news-photo/866729546
https://www.gettyimages.co.uk/detai...e-now-playing-at-londons-news-photo/866729556

I hadn't come across Vera before, but her obituary makes for very interesting reading. She stayed in America after getting the Ice Capades job, and died in California in 2009.

The obituary says that she became a coach over in America. So, I wonder if she coached anybody that we would have heard of. It would be cool if she did.

And it would be lovely to see some photos of her skating. But unfortunately the only photos I could find are the off-ice ones I linked to.

It's amazing the things you find out after watching a film!

CaroLiza_fan
 

DSQ

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Looks like the rinks are opening again!

Murrayfield in Edinburgh hasn’t updated but Queensway in London is opening on the 4th!
 

CaroLiza_fan

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Looks like the rinks are opening again!

Murrayfield in Edinburgh hasn’t updated but Queensway in London is opening on the 4th!

Oh no they're not! (Well, if Movies 24 can show Christmas films in July, then I can do pantomine quotes! :laugh: )

Boris Johnson held a press conference an hour or so ago saying that because of rising cases, the easing of restrictions that were due to happen in the next few days are now not going to happen. Because I was watching the first Free Practice 1 from Silverstone, I didn't see the press conference. So I don't know if this just applies to England or whether it applies to the whole of the UK.

Unfortunately for our figure skaters, ice rinks were specifically mentioned in the BBC report as places that would not now be re-opening.

It will be interesting to see what happens with the snooker World Championships in Sheffield, which are currently being held after being postponed from their traditional April slot.

Whereas the qualifying rounds were held behind closed doors over the past 10 days at the English Institute of Sport, the Last 32 round started this morning at the Crucible Theatre as the first indoor event in the UK to have spectators. And when I flicked over there after hearing the news, there were a good few people on both sides of the partition watching. So, what is going to happen once the Morning Session ends? Are the spectators going to go off and have their dinner, and then come back and find they are not allowed back in for the Afternoon Session?!

Whilst it is the right decision to stop the easing of restrictions, as with everything else, it has been handled very badly.

CaroLiza_fan
 

Dreamer57

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Boris Johnson held a press conference an hour or so ago saying that because of rising cases, the easing of restrictions that were due to happen in the next few days are now not going to happen. Because I was watching the first Free Practice 1 from Silverstone, I didn't see the press conference. So I don't know if this just applies to England or whether it applies to the whole of the UK.

Unfortunately for our figure skaters, ice rinks were specifically mentioned in the BBC report as places that would not now be re-opening.

I believe it is just England and will last for at least 2 weeks.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-53609467

Local northern England restrictions were announced on Twitter :confused: yesterday evening.
The handling is indeed appalling and I feel frustrated for the business owners and anyone who had events planned for today/tomorrow.
 

CaroLiza_fan

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I believe it is just England and will last for at least 2 weeks.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-53609467

Thank you for the clarification. So, it doesn't apply to the rest of the nations... yet.

I knew the Dundonald Ice Bowl had announced last week that the rink would be re-opening next Friday, so I was wondering if that was going to be affected by this announcement.

Local northern England restrictions were announced on Twitter :confused: yesterday evening.
The handling is indeed appalling and I feel frustrated for the business owners and anyone who had events planned for today/tomorrow.

I watched the repeat of last night's Press Preview on Sky News this morning, and panellists were really angry because the announcement of this new lockdown was made after the papers went to press at 9pm, just 3 hours before it came into force. And, as a result, only a couple of papers actually had the story.

And the government did the same last week when announcing the re-introduction of 14 days of quarantine for people coming from Spain.

Like, how is everybody supposed to know what they are supposed to do if the instructions aren't available EVERYWHERE?! Let's face it, not everybody can look them up online. (Plus there is so much rubbish circulating online anyway that people can very easily get caught out!)

To be successful, the rules need to be simple to understand and simple to follow. But, what we have actually been given is very complicated, with loads of contradictions. It's just a mess!

CaroLiza_fan
 

DSQ

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I agree it confusing because there isn’t really a place where they just lay the rules out telling us what we can and can’t do. For example my grandparents are driving to southwest France and if it weren’t for a friend of mine telling me they would have no idea about having to fill out a form when then return to the UK.

Graham Newberry and his dad were in this Channel 4 news report talking about the ice rink uturn: https://youtu.be/LdOu6XCvV2s
 

pesto

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I really feel for all the people working to get the rinks and bowling alleys ready to open this weekend, and now all their hard work and investment is for nothing.

Meanwhile pubs, restaurants etc are open, and are much more important centres of contagion. Rishi's Rebate is beginning to look a bit of a hollow gesture, amidst the Northern lockdowns, government obesity campaign and brake-squeezing.
 

DSQ

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I’m just thinking of all the money wasted. I feel for them.
 

WednesdayMarch

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The rinks who were on the brink of opening will have lost so much money. I won't be surprised to see more permanent closures after this. Gutted, but not surprised.
 

CaroLiza_fan

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The 2020-21 British Championships for Figure Skating, for Synchronised Skating and for Short Track Speed Skating have all been cancelled:

https://www.iceskating.org.uk/post/update-from-british-ice-skating-board-07-08-2020

In addition, skaters are officially being encouraged by the British Fed to not to take part in international events. And, as such, the Fed are not nominating skaters for international slots.

The disclaimer is that if skaters request a slot for a Challenger Event or a GP, it will be considered according to the government guidelines.



While I'm here, I'm surprised that nobody has linked to the BBC article from earlier in the week where Mark Hanretty has his speak about the restrictions:

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-53655198

I have to say, although Mark is trying to stress that ice skating is a serious sport that is being harmed by rinks not being able to re-open, the approach the BBC took to the article isn't helping. Describing him in the headline as a "Dancing On Ice coach", rather than as a double British Ice Dance Champion, and putting the story in the "Entertainment" section of Ceefax rather than the "Other Sport" section. It is as if the BBC are trying to subconsciously emphasise the belief that ice skating is just a leisure activity. Which is what people are saying is the reason that the government haven't allowed reinks to re-open.

Well, British governments haven't taken Winter Sports seriously for donkey's years, so what do you expect?

CaroLiza_fan
 

fzztsimmons

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In addition, skaters are officially being encouraged by the British Fed to not to take part in international events. And, as such, the Fed are not nominating skaters for international slots.

The disclaimer is that if skaters request a slot for a Challenger Event or a GP, it will be considered according to the government guidelines.

Does this include skaters who are resident in a country that might be holding whatever form of GP we get? Like Lilah and Lewis I believe have been in Montreal the whole time, so could reasonably take part in Skate Canada - are they saying the British Fed won't ask for them to have a spot? That literally makes no sense as there would be no international travel involved? I understand more so for the skaters who are resident in Britain and would need to travel but still...
Lilah & Lewis were gaining momentum last season and if some sort of competitive GP is going ahead then the fed need to be advocating for them or they risk getting overtaken by other teams....
 

CaroLiza_fan

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Does this include skaters who are resident in a country that might be holding whatever form of GP we get? Like Lilah and Lewis I believe have been in Montreal the whole time, so could reasonably take part in Skate Canada - are they saying the British Fed won't ask for them to have a spot? That literally makes no sense as there would be no international travel involved? I understand more so for the skaters who are resident in Britain and would need to travel but still...
Lilah & Lewis were gaining momentum last season and if some sort of competitive GP is going ahead then the fed need to be advocating for them or they risk getting overtaken by other teams....

That's a good point.

Personally, I think their situation (i.e. being based in Canada) is the reason that the Fed did put in that get out clause. So that Lilah and Lewis could compete at Skate Canada if they are invited.

But, it really does sound like the Fed's intention is for the home based skaters to not get competing at all this season. Which must be really galling for them.

And another point - what about the skaters that are based in the UK but represent other countries? The likes of Sam McAllister, Conor Stakelum (both IRE) and Aleksandra Golovkina (LTU) in Singles, or Mina Zdravkova / Chris Davis (BUL) in Ice Dance. Where do they fit into all this?!

CaroLiza_fan
 

fzztsimmons

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That's a good point.

Personally, I think their situation (i.e. being based in Canada) is the reason that the Fed did put in that get out clause. So that Lilah and Lewis could compete at Skate Canada if they are invited.

But, it really does sound like the Fed's intention is for the home based skaters to not get competing at all this season. Which must be really galling for them.

And another point - what about the skaters that are based in the UK but represent other countries? The likes of Sam McAllister, Conor Stakelum (both IRE) and Aleksandra Golovkina (LTU) in Singles, or Mina Zdravkova / Chris Davis (BUL) in Ice Dance. Where do they fit into all this?!

CaroLiza_fan

It just seems insane that the previous SCI bronze medalists could possibly not be invited to the kinda-SCI this year because the British Fed won't push for them? Especially as SCI will be stacked purely based on the number of skaters who've made it back/never left Montreal - P/C, H/D, C/B, H/B, L/L, L/LG, FB/S, S/D, plus non-gadbois skaters like G/P, S/F... I don't know if they have announced how many spots there will be in each GP but there is serious risk of Lilah and Lewis possibly not getting (a sort of) Grand Prix event... I understand the concerns about the coronavirus, but if the sport is going to go ahead as safely as it can then our skaters are going to be at a serious disadvantage if the fed doesn't get behind them.
 

CaroLiza_fan

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Didn't realise it, but the Ice Bowl did actually open as planned on Friday:

https://www.facebook.com/dundonaldi...2OGz43VtspFd3vpeZ47_MYdEGcd6AKuFQIE&__tn__=-R

The page put up futher posts during the day, but they were just repeating different parts of what was said in the post I linked to. But, on one of them, somebody posted a reply saying that they had come over from North Lanakshire in Scotland so that their daughter could get back on the ice. They also included a photo that showed that there were at least 8 people on the ice (it was one of those silly vertical photos, so you only got a fraction of the rink in the picture).

I only found out there now, because one of my friends in England is on a crusade to get the UK government to let rinks open again, and about an hour ago she put a link up on her Twitter page to a video from Friday's local news about figure skaters over here being able to train again.

I thought it was strange that the BBC website just had the video on it's own. So I did a bit of digging, and found that there was actually a written story to accompany it. So here is the link to the story (I don't know if the embedded video is geo-blocked or not):

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/winter-sports/53696948

Curiously, there is nothing on the Dundonald Club's Facebook page about the rink being open again, or about the BBC story.

CaroLiza_fan
 

CaroLiza_fan

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Emma Lyons, who was 3[SUP]rd[/SUP] in Advanced Novice Ladies at Skate Southern in February, is getting interviewed on Sky News right NOW.

I'll add more afterwards.

EDIT: Unfortunately, it wasn't a long interview (only about 3 minutes), as it was the final item on the @Breakfast show, and they were running out of time. But, she was standing in a car park in Chester talking about how she has been practicing in said car park on roller skates.

Although it was a bit difficult to make out what she was saying due to interference, she did seem pretty upbeat. And the presenter (Niall Paterson) did compliment her on what she said about the bigger picture.

Her Dad was doing the filming, and he was actually doing very well. Admittedly, he did struggle to keep up with her when she was demonstrating some skating. But, what she did looked good, so we'll forgive him! ;) :biggrin:

Here is a video of the part of the interview when Emma was skating, as posted by the regular presenter of the programme (Kay Burley):

https://twitter.com/KayBurley/status/1293102142530740224

Don't you just love Niall's commentary!!! :laugh: :points:

CaroLiza_fan
 

DSQ

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Wait so as I understand it the skaters can ask to be entered in competitions internationally and it’ll be decided on a case by case basis? What if the Championships go ahead? I really feel for everyone.
 

DSQ

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Rinks in Scotland are opening at the end of the month!
 
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