A girl from Blackburn has won two gold medals at an international ice skating competition and she has only been skating for 15 months.
Nine-year-old Elsie Blake-Hughes won two gold medals at the International Ice Skating Competition in Holland.
Elsie, who is part of Blackburn Blades’ (ice dancing and figure skating club) Wonder Ice team, represented Great Britain at the event alongside Amelia and Anna-Maria Kislitsyn, from Lytham.
Amelia also won two golds and Anna-Maria won a silver and bronze.
Elsie’s grandmother, Debbie Blake, said all three skaters train at Planet Ice at Blackburn Arena, under the guidance of professional skaters Natalia Pestova and Alexei Kislitsyn.
Both have won international competitions and Natalia even appeared as a professional skater on Dancing on Ice.
Debbie said: “I am so proud of all the girls.
“They’re all so passionate about their skating and train six days per week. They’re aiming for the Olympics.
“It was so lovely to see them all on the podium. I could literally burst with pride.
“We were there representing the UK and to see the three of them all receive medals was just lovely.
“The girls were over the moon and took their medals into school.”
Elsie, who attends Westholme School in Blackburn, has only been training for 15 months but skates nearly every day, according to Debbie.
She said: “She has gone from not being able to skate at all to winning gold in just 15 months.
“She has a natural talent and she’s very driven.
“Elsie will wake up at 6.30am on weekends in order to skate. We go almost every night after school and she skated for two hours a day.
“We have to encourage her to take days off as she just loves it. She wants to stop going to school and just concentrate on her skating
“Elsie is definitely one to watch. All of the girls are.”
Debbie said the girls have put Lancashire and Blackburn’s ice rink on the map.
She said: “It’s a real boost for Blackburn ice rink. It has amazing coaches who are international champions.
“They’re doing a lot to promote the Blackburn ice rink and I think the fact that these girls have won medals is a testament to how good they are.”