Brought to the skating scene by Torvill and Dean

Left to right: Planet Ice rink manager Hannah Norton, runner up Niamh Irvine, second place Lucy Newman, winner Grace Taylor, third place Lucy May Smith, runner up Alex Pickles and general manager Kerstin Engren
Left to right: Planet Ice rink manager Hannah Norton, runner up Niamh Irvine, second place Lucy Newman, winner Grace Taylor, third place Lucy May Smith, runner up Alex Pickles and general manager Kerstin Engren

Five young ice skating stars were put to the test in front of professional judges after reaching the final of a n-ice competition.

Grace Taylor, eight, from Hemel Hempstead, was crowned the winner of the Skating Stars competition after performing in front of crowds at Planet Ice in Jarman Park, following seven months of training.

She was followed by 12-year-old Lucy Newman in second place, and Lucy May Smith, eight, in third – as well as runners-up Niamh Irvine and Alex Pickles.

The youngsters were initially chosen as five of 15 in a selection day at the newly-refurbished Hemel rink back in March before they went on to take part in Skate Excellence’s Learn To Skate programme.

The initiative followed the success of ITV’s Ice Rink On The Estate, which saw skating legends Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean return to the Nottingham housing estate where they grew up to recruit 40 teenagers on the ice.

Kerstin Engren, general manager, said: “The five finalists have demonstrated a real commitment to the competition and their own personal development.

“The final was electric – all five put on the performances of their lives in front of family, friends and the judges.”

Winner Grace Taylor will go on to work with Skate Excellence coach Pamela Kelly for a further month in preparation for her performance at this year’s Professionals On Ice show in Milton Keynes at the end of the month.

Her mother Kelly said: “Grace did a taster class when the rink reopened and we haven’t looked back. I’m very proud of her.”