A young ice skater who is being supported by Sheffield company Azzure IT has been earmarked for international sporting success.
Luke Sidebottom, who has a sponsorship programme with Azzure IT, is going for gold in the British Figure Skating Championships in the city this December. It will be Luke’s second British Championships after finishing third at his first attempt last November.
The business software specialist is supporting Luke, who trains at iceSheffield, with his training kit and expenses for events and competitions.
The 12-year-old, from Sutton-in-Ashfield, already has over seven years’ experience of skating and has won a clutch of trophies.
Azzure IT’s managing director Craig Such, an avid ice hockey fan, first spotted Luke in training at iceSheffield and was so impressed with his talents that he offered sponsorship.
Craig explained: “We’ve not sponsored anyone before, but Luke was so talented I thought it would be an honour to represent him and a great opportunity to support some home grown talent.
“Hopefully this is just the beginning of a long and prosperous relationship. We wish him the best of luck at all his competitions.”
Luke trains five to six times a week and is currently working on new, more difficult jumps and spins and performing to a compilation of music from Les Miserables.
He has a tough training regime and is currently recovering from a pulled tendon. Dad Wayne said: “We’ve had a small setback but he’s had physiotherapy and he should be back to full training very soon.
“It is an intense schedule for Luke. He trains six days a week before and after school and most days it’s a two-hour session.
“There’s limited availability at the rink as you can’t practise when members of the public are on the ice so we start training at 6am in a morning – we’re up before 5am, have a 35 minute drive up the motorway, train until after 8am then Luke goes on to school.
“His school has been very supportive and has a scheme for gifted and talented pupils so they allow Luke to leave early on a Monday to go skating. He’s allowed free time from the timetable as long as he’s not missing core subjects.”
Luke became passionate about skating after watching his sister Gemma on the ice and he also has an older brother Jake, 19.
Other competitions in the pipeline are Sheffield in August, Wales in September and possibly London in September.