The GB Short Track Speed Skating athletes preparing for their journey to South Korea this week for the Winter Olympic Games were given a spectacular send off by Nottingham School children on Wednesday who came to see the athletes in action at their full time training base, the National Ice Centre in Nottingham.
Over 400 children from Blue Bell Hill, Sir John Sherbrooke, Our Lady St Edwards and Westdale Junior Schools in Nottingham were treated to watching the athletes train on the ice in their final session ahead of the Games, and provided plenty of excitement and cheers as the athletes displayed their speed and skills on the ice, as well as joining in an enthusiastic mexican wave. Sochi 2014 Team GB flag bearer and GB Short Track Academy Manager Jon Eley provided commentary of the action.
The members of the GB Short Track team who have been selected to compete for Team GB at the 2018 Olympics from 9th-25th February in PyeongChang, South Korea are; Elise Christie, Charlotte Gilmartin, Kathryn Thomson, Farrell Treacy and Joshua Cheetham. It will be the third Olympic Games for triple World Champion and World Record holder Elise Christie and a second for European medalist Charlotte Gilmartin.
After training, the young fans had the opportunity to meet their local heroes, taking plenty of photographs and collecting autographs.
Westdale Junior School pupils had the chance to meet former student Joshua Cheetham who hopes the spotlight on the sport will encourage more to give it a try. He said “ It was really great to see my old school here today. Short Track is still quite a young, developing sport and its great for the school children to come and see what it is all about and be able to get on the ice themselves”.
The children were invited to have a go on the ice by the National Ice Centre after meeting the athletes, starting that all important journey of being inspired by our Olympic athletes to stepping on the ice and giving it a go.
Earlier in the week the five athletes and support staff travelling to PyeongChang attended the Team GB kitting out day in Stockport where the official clothing for the Olympic Games was revealed.
The team left from Nottingham Ice Centre on Friday 26th January on their journey to South Korea.
The English Institute of Sport has housed, directed and managed the GB Short Track Speed Skating World Class Performance Programme since June 2015.
(Photo credit: John Rowley)