Thursday, November 16, 2017 - 11:30

Champion skater Ben Penhaligon teamed up with one of the Eden’s Project’s own ice stewards to give an exhilarating masterclass on the rink.

UK Junior Pairs winner Ben, from St Austell in Cornwall, learned to skate on the Eden rink and returned to put on a special show with steward Holly Brookes.

Fellow skaters looked on in awe as Ben showed Holly some high-speed and elegant figure-skating moves.

Ben said:  “It was great to be back on my home rink where my passion for skating began and to team up with Holly who I haven’t skated with before.”

Holly, who recently joined the ice stewarding team, said:  “I’m nowhere near figure skating standard yet so it was really helpful to spend some time learning tips from Ben and improve my skills and balance.”

Ben started skating on the Eden ice ten years ago at the age of 11 and from there his passion for skating sky-rocketed.

Last year he secured a first place title in the UK Junior Pairs category at the British Figure Skating Championships alongside his Canadian ice skating partner Gabrielle Leversque.

Ben recently had an enforced break from skating due to a back injury and parted with Gabrielle as he progressed to senior level but he is set to return to competing now that he is recovered.

He has set his sights on finding a new skating partner and entering next year’s British Figure Skating Championships.

He said:  “I have three weeks of training as well as a trial to pair with a girl in Sheffield coming up and if we pair it would mean we can enter for next year’s British Figure Skating Championships.

“If I can get to the nationals I’ll have a great chance of earning a Team GB jacket which will then mean we could represent Great Britain in international competitions and even potentially compete at the 2022 Winter Olympics.  That’s my ultimate goal.”

Ben was introduced to pairs figure skating by his former coach Clive Shorten three years ago and since then has gone on to train in Canada and Germany.

Ben continued: “What I love every time I come back to Eden is how many memories it holds for me. I remember coming when I was younger, there was a disco every Friday night and there was always the same group of people who would come along every week. Those were great times.”

“I put in so many hours and spent so many Friday and Saturday nights spinning and doing jumps for fun I didn’t even realise at the time it was all forming as part of my training.”