Gold medal is an ice dream come true for Grimsby figure skater Charlotte Brown
A GOLD medal has become the icing on the cake for this Grimsby figure skater.
Charlotte Brown, 29, wowed judges with her elegance on the ice in Sheffield and, as a result, was named the winner of the British Adult Figure Skating Championships.
Her medal is something she has always dreamed of achieving, ever since she first took to the ice in Grimsby 12 years ago.
Charlotte said: "I have a constant smile on my face now that I hold the champion status – it just makes all my work worthwhile.
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"I entered the same competition last year for the first time and came sixth out of 11 other skaters in my category.
"This year I have come first against 15 other ice skaters from across the country."
Charlotte trains on the ice rink at Grimsby Leisure Centre, in Cromwell Road, squeezing in two hours a week between her work commitments.
The rink is likely to close as part of a shake-up of leisure facilities in the area, as reported.
North East Lincolnshire Council announced in January last year that it would be closing Scartho Swimming Pool as part of a £9 million revamp of leisure facilities in the borough – with a replacement pool to be built next to a refurbished Grimsby Leisure Centre in Cromwell Road.
Charlotte said she was "devastated" that the proposals do not include provision for a new ice rink.
She said: "If it wasn't for the rink in Grimsby I would never have started this sport and probably would not be holding a gold medal now.
"It is a shame that other children will not get the same chance I did at the age of 17.
"I will have to travel to Hull to continue training once the rink in Grimsby closes."
With her first gold medal taking pride of place at home, Charlotte has aspirations to go on to achieve even more.
She said: "Hopefully I will compete next year in the championships, but maybe in a different category.
"I quite like the idea of exhibition skating, which includes having props on the ice.
"For me, it is all about performing and getting that feeling when your routine has gone right – you just cannot beat it.
"It has taken me a long time to reach national competitions because I never had enough confidence, but now I just want to do more."
Regarding the ongoing leisure services review, Councillor Mick Burnett, the portfolio holder for culture and tourism at North East Lincolnshire Council, said: "We are actively working with the private sector to explore opportunities to keep an ice rink within North East Lincolnshire."