Jasmine, aged 6, has winter olympics firmly in her sights

A SIX-YEAR-OLD figure skater has her sights firmly set on the winter Olympics in 2022 after becoming the youngest member of the current Great Britain squad.

By Nick Thompson

Jasmine Cressey has only been on the ice for 18 months, but is already being touted as a future medal winner by her coaches after showing an amazing natural ability.

The only problem is, the funds to pay for equipment, dresses, training and competitions is already starting to dry up.

Her ultra-supportive mum Michaela is a single parent and has three other children, she knows her daughter has a special talent but is finding it hard to keep up with the financial support she needs.

“Ice skates cost �600, or �200 for just the blades,” she said. “Dresses for competitions are always around the �100 mark as well – it is so much money.

“This is not just a hobby for us though, Jasmine is very good and her coaches are positive that she can go a long way in the sport. I support her as much as I can.”

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To learn her routines and new skills, Jasmine goes through a rigorous training routine every week, including 6am starts for training before school and late evenings and weekends at Chelmsford’s Riverside Ice Centre.

She attends Felsted Primary School during the day but all she thinks about, and grins about, is ice skating after going to a rink with her mum and getting hooked.

Mrs Cressey said: “Her school is very supportive, and they allow her time to train and to rest ahead of competitions – that sort of support is so important. We just would love to find a sponsor or someone to help financially to help take the pressure off.”

One of her coaches Gemma Reeve, aged 21, was a top 20 skater at a young age and knows what her latest prodigy is capable of. “She is one of the best, if not the best, I have seen at that age,” she said. “It is amazing she has learnt things so fast – she skates with such a great maturity.”

Jasmine, from Great Leighs, was added to the GB squad this year and is the youngest member currently on the books and she passed her latest grade two weeks ago. Her mum could not be prouder of her efforts.

“I am delighted, she makes me so proud. She just enjoys it so much and I love watching her compete and train.”

Although shy off the ice, Jasmine is confident on it, performing tricks for the camera was second nature. She is always watching skating on TV and loves the ITV Dancing On Ice series. “I just love it,” she said.

CAN you help Jasmine? Call us on 01799 512890 or e-mail nick.thompson@archant.co.uk and we can put you in contact.