Sheffield skaters earn international call up

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THREE Sheffield skaters will represent Team GB at international competitions during the next year.

Katie Powell, Peter Hallam and Olivia Smart have all won a place in the National Ice Skating Association’s Performance Squad.

Katie, aged 19, who trains at iceSheffield, will compete in the senior ladies category following her selection for Team GB’s 2012 Olympic Ambition Programme.

Peter, of Wincobank, has been selected after his impressive 2011-2012 season which saw the 16-year-old win gold at the Challenge Cup and Ice Challenge in Austria.

Junior ice dance champion Olivia Smart, 14, from Sheffield, will also represent NISA with her skate partner Joe Buckland.

The duo secured gold at the Mentor Nestle Nesquik Cup 2012 in Toru, Poland.

Ken Pendrey NISA board chairman and president said: “It is extremely pleasing to see so much talent in this very strong squad of skaters, who I am confident will deliver great performances and continue to bring international medal success to the UK.”

It follows the announcement NISA has been awarded a Grant Funding Agreement of £174,337 by UK Sport to be invested into its Figure Skating Programme in the next two years.

The funding is part of a move to boost skating ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.