Whilst the nation has been gripped by the World Cup, Wimbledon and Le Tour fever this summer, Dominick Barter’s focus has been on more wintry pursuits – ice skating to be exact.
Last week the 13-year-old, competed in The British Solo Dance Championships at iceSheffield– one of the biggest annual competitions organised by the National Ice Skating Association (NISA).
“I was very nervous but it helped that I was performing in front of a home crowd,” the winner of Sheffield’s 2013 Inspiring Young Sports Person award said.
“It was a great experience because I had been working hard all year leading up to this. I was able to bring all my experience and knowledge from previous competitions to this one.”
Despite suffering from a chest infection, the youngster won a silver medal in the men’s advanced novice category where he competed against competitors up to 18 years old.
“It was very tough on the day as I couldn’t breathe fully but to come out with a silver medal has just made me even more determined,” said the current British number one in his age group.
“I think if I had come out with the gold medal I might have been a bit relaxed going into the next competitions but instead I’m really fired up and ready to face the next challenges.”
Dominick, of Deepcar, started skating when he was eight-years-old at a holiday club at iceSheffield and was quickly talent spotted.
He started having private lessons in 2009 with coaches Vivienne Dean, a former World Professional Ice Dance Champion with ice partner Jon Lane, Andrew Smykowski and Kelly Buddery.
The talented youngster trains over 11 hours a week and regularly gets up at 4.30am to fit in sessions before school – something that he and his parents have just about adapted to.
“It used to be so horrible – especially in the winter. I just wanted to roll over and go back to sleep – but with that attitude I knew I would get no-where,” he said.
“It’s important to make this sacrifice of a lie in and now I would say I’m actually a morning person. My parents have had to sacrifice so much as well because they’ve had to change their body clock so they can take me and it costs £10,000 a year to fund me – I couldn’t have done any of this without them.”
Dominick has competed in tournaments all over the country and dreams one day of competing in the Olympics but he has many hurdles to overcome.
“It would be a dream to one day fly the flag for Great Britain at the Olympics but it’s very hard,” he said.
“In this country it’s still classed as an amateur sport with so little funding available and hardly any boys competing solo so right now I am focused on finding a suitable ice skating partner.
“I would be able to compete in more competitions abroad and I hope I can keep on improving and get to the top.”