A chance trip to the seaside turned an ordinary schoolgirl into one of the nation’s top ice queens.
Emily Rose Brown has just been crowned the junior British Ice Dance Champion after toppling her older opposition with a slick, energetic routine in the The National Ice Skating Association competition, in Sheffield.
And the talented 13-year-old from Penwortham, who discovered her passion for skating at nine after a visit to a Blackpool rink, has been tipped for greatness by her coach, star of ITV’s Dancing On Ice Mark Hanretty.
All-Hallows Catholic High School pupil Emily said: “It is a dream come true.
“I’m so pleased to have won. I like the dresses but I really like the technical side to ice dancing.
“I’m looking forward to getting on the ice again.”
Emily’s mother Esther, a drama teacher at Hutton Grammar School, praised her daughter.
She said: “We went to Blackpool Pleasure Beach when Emily was nine – they had an ice rink, she had a go and she really enjoyed it.
“She went on a beginners’ course and she completed it in record time and it has all gone from there.
“I was so proud of her performance last week.
“She was the youngest girl there by a mile, it was an Under-16 competition and she beat a lot of older girls.
“She danced a waltz and then she chose to skate to the Conga and the Four Tops song Going Loco Down in Acapulco.
“She wanted to do a really hi-tempo but technical dance and get everyone in the stands dancing too.
“Her coach, Dancing On Ice’s Mark Hanretty, thinks she has got what it takes to go far and this win has proved her potential.”
Mark added: “I have seen few girls with as much talent and natural aptitude for ice dance as Emily.”
Emily is now on the hunt for a male skating partner to allow her to compete in the doubles competition’s.
Emily trains at Ice Sheffield, home to the best coaches in Britain, but Esther revealed the youngster needs more funding to continue her meteoric rise.
She said: “We live in Penwortham but we travel to Sheffield regularly.
“We do need more funding to help with the travel costs, we’ve considered moving to Sheffield but me and my husband are unable to move because of our jobs.
“Hopefully now she is British champion she will receive more funding offers. I don’t want to say I think she could be an Olympic athlete but so many coaches have said she has what it takes.”
If you would like to support Emily’s Olympic dream, email Esther at firstname.lastname@example.org.