‘I definitely want to finish the season on a high’: Twickenham speed skater Olivia Weedon aims for European success

Injury may have blighted Twickenham speed skater Olivia Weedon over recent months, but she can finally see light at the end of the tunnel with European success at the very top of her wish list.

Having overcome the ankle issues that have plagued her since last summer, the 14-year-old has recently been struck down with a back injury.

But her return to training is well underway, and with her sights set on glory at the Junior Europa Cup in Belgium at the end of March, confidence is growing day by day.

And with dreams of one day representing Team GB at a Winter Olympic Games, Weedon is determined to lay her marker as the season draws to a close.

“Currently I’ve just come back from injury. About four weeks ago, I hurt my lower back so I’m just getting back into training now,” said Weedon, who benefits from being part of the SSE Next Generation programme.

“I’ve got a competition coming up in a couple of weeks, it’s a junior Europa Cup so I’m getting ready for that and hopefully I can do well.

“It’s been a frustrating time. Before that I had an ankle injury and that’s been bugging me since summer. I finally got rid of that and then picked up another injury.

“It put me back a bit but hopefully in the next competition I can get back up there. I definitely want to finish the season on a high.

“It’s really exciting knowing that PyeongChang [Winter Olympic Games] is coming around as I can’t wait to watch all the guys from the team race. Hopefully a couple of them will medal. I’m excited for five years’ time to see if I’ve got a chance to go to Beijing.”

As part of the support she receives from the SSE Next Generation programme, Weedon put down her skates and enjoyed a different winter sport earlier this month with a curling taster session in Tunbridge Wells with former England junior international Ollie Kendall.

There, she was taught the basics of the sport before getting to grips with matters on the ice, and for the St. Catherine’s School pupil, it proved to be quite the experience.

“I used to do figure skating but this is completely different from anything else, there are no blades on your feet,” she said.

“It’s more about trying to stay balanced and use your strength and also when to sweep and when not to sweep.

“I’ve definitely picked up trying to stabilise myself a lot more and also that I need to be a lot more flexible because I’m really not and I can’t get down low enough.

“It’s been very interesting doing a different sport as I’ve never really tried it.”

SSE’s Next Generation programme partners with SportsAid to provide financial support and training to the sports stars of the future.

Keep up to date with the latest @SSENextGen.

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