PJ Hallam hopes for hometown glory as Sheffield plays host to British Figure Skating Championships

Just when you thought the ice had melted, the most prestigious event in the British skating calendar has arrived in town!

Tuesday, 30th November 2021, 5:48 pm
Updated Tuesday, 30th November 2021, 5:49 pm

The British Figure Skating Championships are taking place at iceSheffield until Sunday – and a skating sensation from the city is desperate to be the star of the show before the curtain comes down on his career at the ripe old age of 26.

Wincobank-based PJ Hallam is set to defend the men’s singles crown he won in his home city the last time the competition was held in 2019.

The former All Saints Catholic High School pupil told The Star: “I'm really confident, I have been working very hard.

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Wincobank-based PJ Hallam is set to defend his men’s singles crown in The British Figure Skating Championships at iceSheffield.

"Hopefully I can just lean back on everything I have done and just enjoy it."

Saturday will see the much-anticipated senior competition get underway and the best skaters in the country battle it out in front of hundreds of spectators, as well as BBC TV cameras.

PJ, who has skated at iceSheffield since the age of eight, admitted it ‘really would mean a lot’ to come out on top with friends and family watching on.

He added: “After this one I have decided to retire. I have to work very, very hard as I’m not funded.

"It’s quite a big struggle to keep going. I have got a lot of things I have had to put on hold in my life.”

Ice skating has dominated PJ’s life for the last 18 years.

As a child, he would cycle to iceSheffield for practise in the morning before school, then return for a second session at the end of the day before cycling back home.

These days he combines his own practise with coaching – which he plans to continue post-retirement - in gruelling 12-hour days.

He said: "A lot of people don’t really realise how much effort goes into it because we make it look so easy.”

Still, his enthusiasm remains undiminished.

"It’s the feel of skating so fast along the ice and having the rush of being able to do the things you can’t do when you are wearing shoes.

"The performance aspect is also really fun.

"It’s going to be a fantastic event.”

The senior competition will be available to watch on the BBC iPlayer and BBC Sport app.