National dream for MK ice skater

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Talented young figure skater Kia Blackburn was in a spin after qualifying for the south east region of the prestigious IJS Novices competition.

Kia, who trains with the International School of Ice Dancing in Milton Keynes, will now be aiming to qualify for the British Championships.

Her mum Lana is a Russian international skating coach and has helped to encourage the 12-year-old’s development since she took up the sport at the age of three.

A one-time reserve for the Russian junior Olympic team, Lana said: “I’m really proud of Kia’s achievement, and she is delighted to have qualified for the Novices.

“She started skating at the age of three and ice skating has always been her dream.”

Kia, from Little Horwood, is currently at NISA Level 9, and working to improve her technique – with the aim of cleanly landing a double axel, triple toe and triple salchow at the Novices’ competition in Sheffield in November.

Kia trains six days a week – a total of 11 hours both on and off the ice – but the Royal Latin School pupil doesn’t allow her training to affect her school work, even though her strict practice schedule means she first gets on the ice at 6.30am before catching the bus to school and then returning for more training after lessons.

And her training routine is set to become even more challenging when the Planet Ice rink at MK’s Leisure Plaza closes for refurbishment this month.

Kia and other skaters from the ISS MK will relocate to the rink in Coventry for around 12 months while work is carried out, meaning that any future success she has will be even more of an achievement.