Get to know Nottingham-based GB Short Track Squad
The GB Short Track squad, who are based at the National Ice Centre in Nottingham, compete all over the globe but for one weekend only will be in action on their home soil at Star Class 2016.
Billy Simms and Jon Eley are involved in the Olympic squad and took time out of their busy schedule to chat with us ahead of this weekend’s spectacle.
Originally from Solihull and now calling Nottingham home, 22-year-old Billy is all geared up for this weekend’s international speed skating event:
Are you looking forwarding to competing on home turf? It’s always my favourite place to skate here in Nottingham as the home crowd really builds the atmosphere and makes it that much more special.
How is a home event different to when you are competing elsewhere? It’s different because you have everyone there to support you and the team. It really pushes you on to win for them!
Who will be your toughest competition? The biggest competition is always the Dutch, they have a strong representation on all levels and they definitely give us a run for our money.
When you’re not in training are there any places you like to visit in Nottingham? The shopping is pretty good and there are plenty of restaurants to enjoy a good meal, the most important thing to an athlete!
Three time Olympian and Flag bearer for Team GB at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, Jon can’t wait for the international event to return to Nottingham this weekend:
What can the audience expect at an international speed skating event? The audience are in for a treat, with lots of action when some of the world’s best skaters take to the ice. There will be high speeds, big crashes and an overall great atmosphere.
From the competition in January 2015, held for the first time ever in the UK, what was your highlight? It had to be seeing so many kids enjoying watching speed skating, they created a fantastic atmosphere, which the Skaters thrived off.
Tickets for the ISU Star Class event, Saturday 9 to Sunday 10 January, are still available to purchase online or at the Nottingham Tourism Centre. Don’t miss your chance to see an international speed skating event take place on your doorstep!