2015 will see the UK host its third Inclusive Skating competition, thanks to funding from the National Lottery’s Awards for All programme. The international event, which will take place at Scotland’s Braehead Curling Ice Rink in April 2015, includes competition in Figure Skating, Solo Ice Dance and Speed Skating.
The competition, which is supported by the National Ice Skating Association (NISA), will be organised by Inclusive Skating, who provide opportunities for skaters with a range of physical or mental impairments to participate in the sport and take part in competitions and events. The organisation has recently been awarded £10,000 in funding, allowing them to hold the competition which would not have been possible otherwise.
Skaters with any form of impairment can enter the competition, including visual, hearing, biochemical, intellectual or any impairment that functionally limits ice skating capability. Each skater will be individually assessed by the panel during classification and given a whole person impairment percentage that reflects their impairment. This is then used to calculate the impairment compensation to be added to each competitor’s score, making the competition much more inclusive than that of other sports.
Margarita Sweeney-Baird, Founder of Inclusive Skating said: “Our end goal is to develop a programme that will include all skaters with an impairment and allow them to participate in all competitions and events on an equal basis. This funding has allowed us to do just that as for the first time since the event’s inception, we are able to extend its scope, opening up the competition to some of the most seriously impaired athletes. For example, in 2015 we are introducing a harness event that will allow even more skaters to take part.
“The system we have in place is transformational for disability sport, allowing able and disabled bodied skaters to compete in the same events”.
The 2015 event will include the third Special Olympics GB National Championships in Figure and Speed Skating as well as the first ever NISA British Inclusive Skating Championships.
Nick Sellwood, Chief Executive of NISA commented: “This international event has only been made possible thanks to the funding from Awards for All, for which we are all extremely grateful. Inclusive skating is becoming more and popular in the UK and this competition not only provides the opportunity for those skaters to participate in a competitive environment, but it also acts as the focal point within the inclusive skating calendar”.
The competition takes place on Saturday 11th to Sunday 12th April 2015 across various venues in Scotland.
Entry is now open for competitors wishing to take part.
For more information, please visit this website www.inclusiveskating.org