Bolton skate aces on a roll

FOUR members of Bolton Artistic Roller Skating Club have been earmarked for international competition.

Jonny Clegg, Sophia Burns, Georgia Hargreaves and Emma Thiele have been selected to join the British training squad which could lead to representing their country.

The quartet will train with the rest of the national squad six times during this year when they will get their chance to impress the national selectors.

They are all members of the Bolton club which has been in existence for almost a decade.

The sport is like ice skating but on roller skates and involves four different disciplines in which skaters perform routines to music involving a variety of acrobatic jumps, twists, spins and turns.

Nineteen-year-olds Jonny and Sophie, Georgia, aged 14, and Emma, nine – who came fourth in the British Championships last year as well as two third places in national open competitions – recently travelled to Swindon for their first training session with the national set-up.

They are four of around 40 competitive skaters at Bolton Artistic, which is one of two clubs coaching the sport in the town, the other being Red Rose ARSC.

“It’s quite a popular sport, so much so that we could do with more coaches to help Nina Asquith,” said club official Stephen Thiele.

“The club is going well and in September we’re holding the first open competition in Bolton when skaters will be coming from all over the country to take part at Smithills Sports Centre.”

The sport is little known outside its own circles, but that is more due to the lack of media attention than interest from competitors with Bolton a hotbed in a thriving North West region which has nine clubs.

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