My skating habit

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Employ My Ability offers vocational training for students with learning disabilities and special educational needs and disabilities. One of their students, Maddie Walters, spent her work experience with us, and now writes a regular column – Ed

Special People On Ice, or SPICE, is an inclusive skating club for people who have additional needs from the age of seven. Since 2002, SPICE’s goal has been helping the skaters participate in ice skating, to improve their skill and to gain confidence in their ability. SPICE runs in the Slough Ice Arena every Sunday from 11am to 12pm. They cover al levels, from learn-to-skate groups to an ice hockey team and two synchronised skating teams.
In 2009, aged 12, I watched Ice Princess, a Disney movie – I promptly wanted to start ice skating, and joined SPICE.
A couple of years later, I was featured in a BBC Children in Need segment! I talked about how I joined SPICE and why I love skating. The presenters and film crew came to the ice rink to watch me skate – I even did a solo spin at the end of the segment!
I joined the SPICE synchronised skating team in 2018 and really enjoyed competing. SPICE Synchro was so popular it eventially split into two teams, SPICE Crystals and SPICE Sparkles – I am on SPICE Crystals.
We perform at competitions three times a year: Skate London, The Britannia Cup in Nottingham and the Steel City Trophy.
In March I took part in the Steel City Trophy competition in Sheffield – three days of performing and watching and cheering on the other team, it was a great experience. SPICE Crystals chose a Glee mash-up – just like SPICE, on the show they are one big family – and we did Makaton sign language at the end of the performance. We finished in second place and were awarded a silver medal. SPICE Sparkles came in first and got the gold!

  • To find out more information about SPICE and what we do, please visit spiceskating.org
  • In the video above, Maddie is on the left of the pair holding hands as they enter the ice

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