Early bird Natasha catches a trophy

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FOR Natasha Gadsdon, dedication to ice skating has paid off with a championship win at only nine years old.

Natasha, of Rockingham Road, Bury St Edmunds, gets up at 5.30am four days a week to travel to Lee Valley Ice Centre in Leyton to get her training in before school. She trains there with skating coaches Kevin Marshall and Wendi Ross.

Mum Juliet said: “She goes to bed at 6.30 to 7pm so her day is no longer than other children who go to bed at 8.30.

“I asked her teachers at South Lee School if she gets tired in lessons they said she was one of the liveliest pupils in the class.”

“They been very supportive. They say it has given her confidence at school.”

Natasha’s dad David added: “She needs to go to London because there are no local ice rinks for the quality of trainers she needs.”

Natasha first got interested in skating on a visit to Chelmsford ice rink aged three and was inspired to go further by the Dancing on Ice television programme.

She started with ice dance but now finds the spins and jumps of free skating more challenging.

It was in free skating that she won the Sue Boardman Trophy for level two under-11s at Telford Open Ice Skating Championship in March. Natasha said she was excited by her win and had shown all her school friends the cup and glass trophy she won. She also came fourth against 17 12-year-olds in a competition in Bradford on Monday.