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Solway skating
Solway skating

Solway group skating to success

Solway Sk8ing Club promotes the development of figure and synchronised ice skating in Dumfries & Galloway. They have three synchronised teams of young people of various ages - Solway Lightning, Solway Eclipse and Solway Stars, made up of forty-two skaters.

Over the last few years, the club has received support from the Annandale and Nithsdale Community Benefit Company, which has helped the club with a variety of expenses, including entry fees, transport, accommodation and equipment. 

The sport allows skaters to form strong friendships, and enables them to develop the skills necessary for successful teamwork, both within skating and in all areas of their lives. Participating in the sport is highly beneficial for their physical and mental wellbeing, improving their confidence, self-esteem and resilience. 

Synchronised teams take part in competitions where they represent their hometown and country, which is a huge honour for them. This participation enables them to become positive role models for their peers and encourages other pupils in their schools and communities to take up similar sports. 

Members of each team come from a range of schools throughout the region, and their achievements have been widely recognised by the school communities and the wider community. This link between the schools helps to foster positive inter-school relationships as they share common pride in their achievements.

Despite the challenges of Covid, the 2021/2022 season was the most successful in the history of the club. At the Britannia Cup in Sheffield (British Championships) Solway Comets retained their beginners gold medal for the second competition year running and received an all-time personal best score. Solway Eclipse ended the season as British Champions in their category, with not only a personal best, they also received the highest score a British mixed age team has ever received in competition! Solway Stars also achieved their seasons Personal Best, and became the first ever Scottish team to become ISU junior British Champions.

The most recent grant award of £6,600 from ANCBC supported the teams to compete in the Trophy D'Ecosse and the Britannia Cup. 

Competitions, specialist fees and other fees have in the past been funded through a combination of parental contributions, fundraising activities, private donations, grants and sponsorship. ANCBC has been a regular supporter of Solway Sk8ing Club, and Abbie Turner, the Solway Stars Captain for 2022-23, gave this testimonial to her team after her last season as Captain, which shows how important this support can be. 

“Thank you for making my last season so special. I am so lucky just to be part of this team, but to be your Captain is truly an honour. You made my last season one to remember - New PB's, Scottish Champions, British Champions, Team GB Junior World Competitors .... so many goals and historical moments have been achieved and it's all down to hard work and determination we have put in together, as a team and as best friends. The bond we have together is so special and I will miss you all so much."

“Thank you for being the best team I could ever wish for. Thank you to my coaches, my parents, team manager, chaperones, everyone who has been part of my skating journey here with my Solway family. I wish you all the best of luck for the future, I will be watching you every step of the way. And now.... a dream that hasn't quite hit reality yet, as I enter my senior skating years over in Canada. I cannot wait for this next chapter of my life and I'm beyond grateful for the overwhelming amount of support I have received through this exciting time.”

Going forward, and following the success of this season, the club hopes to be able to support the teams to sustain this for the 2023-24 season. They hope to attend at least four National competitions for all three teams. 

Annandale and Nithsdale Community Benefit Company (ANCBC) is funded by the Scottish Power Renewables community benefit fund for Harestanes Windfarm in Dumfries and Galloway. The fund primarily supports community projects in forty-two community council areas in Annandale and Nithsdale.

Read more about the fund here