Knutsord figure skater’s crowdfunding dream
Knutsford-based ice skater Amy Morris turned 12 years old in January, and last year placed first in the UK to become the British Basic Novice Champion at the age of just 11 years old, beating off competition from several girls quite a bit older than her.
The Knutsford Academy student trains an impressive 16 hours every week - starting at 6am most mornings - and practices her sport in Altrincham under the supervision of coaches Gillian Edwards and Mike Fish.
Her coaches and family believe she could go a long way in the sport, with her mum Debbie commenting that Amy has a strong spirit and a strong will to win.
Debbie told us: “I don't think people realise how difficult a sport figure skating is. It has got to be one of the most difficult things to do. It all looks so glamorous and easy but it's not.”
Debbie recently set up a ‘gofundme’ page online on behalf of her daughter to enable her to compete for Great Britain in Europe.
Amy has been selected by Nisa (her sport’s national governing body) but this is completely self-funded and means thousands of pounds in costs for competitions.
The costs to compete abroad are estimated at around £1,000 per competition, as the figure skaters are expected to cover their coaches’ air fare and accommodation fees as well as their own.
Debbie added: “I am hoping she is able to do at least one this year to gain vital experience. At the moment Amy is funded by myself, dad and her grandad for lessons, costumes and [competitions] in the UK.
“I am actively looking for funding/sponsorship. Ice skating is an elite sport but receives no government funding at the moment.
“She absolutely loves skating and works incredibly hard. She has a natural talent and could go far in the sport.”
Amy commented: “I really love ice skating and doing competitions. I was so happy when I won the British Championships I was literally crying. I want to go to the Olympics one day and maybe win a medal.”
Debbie added: “She has come so far with what we have been able to provide but at this high level it’s becoming increasingly difficult.”
Amy’s school is extremely supportive, and allow her extra time off when required for training.
The majority of children who skate at an elite level have been skating since they were 5 or 6 years old - it can take months, sometimes years, to master each spin or jump.
Performers like Amy often sacrifice opportunities such as sleepovers, and other activities revolve around competitions.
Even essentials such as boots and blades can cost upwards of £600, so it isn’t always easy for youngsters to participate.
Amy has a Facebook page which is updated regularly with details of what she gets up to: www.facebook.com/amymorrisfigureskater/
There is also a fundraising campaign for ‘Amy Morris GB Figure Skater Dream’ which can be accessed here: https://de.gofund.me/bcnp5pqc&rcid=f2a4d568d7ed11e5899fbc764e0525d6