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Teenage Gainsborough ice skater sets sights on 2014 Winter Olympics

By Lincolnshire Echo  |  Posted: January 26, 2013

  • Robynne Tweedale travels hundreds of miles to train.

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An ice skater is travelling hundreds of miles to train each week after setting her sights on the 2014 Winter Olympics.

Robynne Tweedale trains three times a week in Sheffield and once a week in Essex. The 16-year-old combines her passion for the ice with A-level studies at Gainsborough Queen Elizabeth's High School.

Robynne clinched the UK Junior Figure Skating Pairs title four months after teaming up with Steven Adcock. She has now been given special dispensation by QEHS head teacher David Allsop to take a day off each week so she can travel to and from the Riverside Ice Rink where Steven trains at Chelmsford.

Robynne and her 14-year-old sister Becky are already used to the 26-mile round trip from their home near Bawtry in Nottinghamshire each school day.

Now she is getting up at 4am three mornings for pre-school 6am to 7.40am solo skating sessions in Sheffied before her parents deliver her to the Morton Terrace school for lessons.

On Wednesdays and Thursdays Robynne skates before and after school, then fits in her homework and revision.

She is no stranger to travel for international competition.

Before Christmas, she and 17-year-old Steven were silver medallists in the Lombardia Trophy in Milan and also won the Welsh Junior Pairs title.

Following their success in the British Figure Skating and Synchro Championships, they have been touted as possible contenders for the British team in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, next February.

Robynne, who started competitive skating five years ago, said her studies must come first.

The pair are preparing for an International Skating Union nine-day training camp in Berlin in March. "I came late to skating because I tried it when I was four and didn't like it at all," she said. "But I tried it again when I was 11 and I've never found it difficult.

"It means very early starts and late finishes, train trips and car journeys. I can't thank my parents or my school enough for the support.''

Mum Justine said: "We're really proud of both Robynne and Steven because they are an absolute credit to themselves.''

Mr Allsop said: "If a student shows an aptitude for something which will help them realise a dream then we will do our best to balance their aspirations with their education."

Steven said: "Robynne and I get on really well and that's very important."

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