June 2016: Isabelle hopes to skate into Team GB

ICE dancer Isabelle Lord is hoping to win a place in GB development squad after finishing eighth in the British Ice Skating Championships.

Twelve-year-old Isabelle, from Helmshore, is a Year 7 student at Haslingden High School, where she is given special dispensation to arrive late as she trains early in Widnes.

She said: “I get up at 4.30am three mornings a week and my mum Sarah drives me to my training session at Widnes Ice Arena because that is where my coach Amanda Galloway is now based.

“I train for 13 to 15 hours a week.”

On a Tuesday, Friday and Saturday Isabelle and her mum make the 45 minute journey at 4.30am. An early finish at school enables her to complete an evening training session on a Wednesday.

At the British Championships at Sheffield Ice Arena, Isabelle performed three dances, a pattern, foxtrot and freestyle.

The compulsory pattern dance is a series of moves that all contestants have to perform, but Isabelle didn’t feel very well while she was dancing and needed medication before she got back on the ice.

She said: “My second dance was the foxtrot and I got the second highest score with excellent marks for technical abilities.

“For the final free dance, I reached a personal best. You have to include certain elements in the dance and I got a mark of 25.81, which put me in 8th place overall.

“My coach is now going to recommend me for the Great Britain development squad.”

Isabelle first tried ice skating aged eight when she went to a friend’s birthday party at Blackburn Ice Arena and she never fell over once.

She then started properly training when she was in Year 6 at Helmshore Primary School and when her coach moved arenas, Isabelle switched with her.