Meet Nottingham speed skater Holly Hoyland

Meet Nottingham speed skater Holly Hoyland – part of the UK’s new generation of Olympic talent

We’ve all heard of Torvill and Dean, but when it comes to Nottingham ice stars there’s a new generation waiting to take the world by storm.

One of those stars is 16-year-old Holly Hoyland from St Ann’s in Nottingham – who we’re supporting towards her Olympic dreams.

Holly was one of only four Short Track Speed Skaters in the whole of the UK to be picked by Team GB for the 2017 European Youth Olympic Festival in Turkey this year – a prelude to the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games in South Korea – and one of only 17 athletes overall.

The 17 athletes picked for the Youth Olympic Festival, all aged 15-17 years old, are considered the country’s next generation of winter sport stars, with the Festival giving them their first taste of a multi-sport event.

Holly got personal best times in all three Short Track Speed Skating distances – 500 metres, 777 metres and 1,000 metres and is now on a 3-month trial with the GB Short Track Academy, where, if the trial is successful, she’ll train before moving into the national GB Short Track Speed Skating Squad.

Holly trains at the National Ice Centre in Nottingham and is part of the Nottinghamshire Ice Racing Club for Short Track Speed Skating. We support her by helping to fund the cost of Holly’s training, equipment and travel to competitions like the Youth Olympic Festival and the British Championships in April of this year, where Holly was the winner over 1,000m and 3rd in the competition overall.

Cherry Underwood, our Chief Executive explained:

“The Trust has a long track record of helping young people in St Ann’s and Sneinton, and we’re proud to be supporting Holly. It’s been very exciting watching Holly progress from a promising junior speed skater to one of the UK’s new generation of Olympic athletes. Her talent, passion and dedication will hopefully inspire more children and young people in the area to believe they can aim high and achieve their ambitions, whatever their goals may be.”

So how did a 16-year-old from Nottingham become one of the UK’s new generation of sporting talent?

Holly was spotted by her coach, Amanda Worth, while skating with her mum and brother at a public ice session at the National Ice Centre – aged just 8 years old.

As you’d expect, Holly trains hard, with three on-ice sessions a week and three off-ice sessions, which include cycling, running and imitation drills to practice and test her Short Track Speed Skating techniques. In addition, Holly also goes to the gym when she has spare time.

Holly told us:

“Speed skating is a very expensive sport so I wouldn’t have been able to go to international events like the Youth Olympic Festival or British Championships without the support of The Renewal Trust. With your help, I was able to buy new equipment, including new blades for my skates, and pay my travel costs.”

Holly’s coach, Amanda Worth agrees:

“It’s been a great help having the support of The Renewal Trust and Holly wouldn’t be where she is today without it.”

We’ve been supporting Holly for several years, after one of our Trustees, Sean Burke, a Partner at the Nottingham branch of UK law firm Shoosmiths, discovered that the organisation who previously supported Holly was closing.

The National Ice Centre is also home to the GB Short Track Speed Skating Squad, including Elise Christie, who became the first European and British woman to win world titles at 1,000m, 1,500m and overall gold – at the 2017 World Championships in Rotterdam this year, so Holly is in great company.

Watch this space!