Crosspool speed skater takes silver at national championship

Harry Jessop (front) competes at the British Short Track Speed Skating Championship in Nottingham

Harry Jessop (front) competes at the British Short Track Speed Skating Championship in Nottingham

Well done to 11-year-old Harry Jessop from Crosspool who has won a silver medal at a prestigious national speed skating championship.

Harry fought off tough competition to finish second in the under-11s category of the British Short Track Speed Skating Championship, in Nottingham.

The two-day competition required racing over three different lengths – 500m, which he won; 333m, in which he came fifth after a fall; and a 222m race which saw him come in third. The three race times are averaged to provide an accumulated score.

Harry, who trains with Sheffield Speed Skating Club at iceSheffield, was a fraction away from winning the overall tournament which involved competitors from as far as London, Birmingham and Dundee.

Harry on the podium

Harry with his silver medal on the podium

He said: “I feel really proud of myself because I haven’t been skating for that long – only 18 months. It was a bit hectic rushing around and changing my skates but I did well in the end.

“Speed skating is really important to me – it’s my favourite thing in the world and I just love it. My mum encouraged me to go to my first session at iceSheffield and I just wanted to keep on doing it.”

Harry’s mum Clare said: “It’s a great sport to be involved in – iceSheffield has a great atmosphere and everyone’s lovely. It’s good for the children because it teaches them to look out for each other and practice discipline.”

Harry’s skating success comes as Michael O’Dea, Sheffield Speed Skating Club’s oldest member at 67, has qualified for the European Masters Short Track Speed Skating Championships in Holland on Saturday 19 January.

Mandy Parker, general manager at iceSheffield, which is operated by Sheffield International Venues (SIV) said: “Harry and Michael’s skating success is great for iceSheffield and the Sheffield Speed Skating Club. It shows that people of all ages and backgrounds can enjoy and succeed in sport, and we wish Michael the best of luck for the European Masters.”

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