ACTIVE Stirling hosted its very first Ice Skating Gala at The PEAK with over thirty competitive skaters attending to showcase their skating skills.

Some of the skaters that took part in the Gala have attended Active Stirling’s learn to skate programmes over the years coached by Rhiannon Morris (Ice Skating Co-ordinator) and Gemma Chaddock (Ice Skating Coach) and also Stirling New Figure Skating Club (SNFSC) coaches who have taught the girls from grassroots level to compete in Open Competitions. The girls who took part are aged between 6 and 18 years and ranging from competitive beginner level to senior level. The gala was held the weekend before Aberdeen Open Competition where almost half of the skaters will travel to perform the same routine, this time competitively.

The gala provided opportunities for skaters to showcase their skills and abilities to family and friends. For some, this was their first ever solo performance in front of a crowd of people. A great way to shake some first time nerves before the Open competition.

Nieve Deans, aged 9, is skating at beginner level and performed for the first time at the gala. She started skating in Active Stirling's Skate UK programme aged 5. After her first public performance. Nieve said: "I enjoyed skating at the gala, it was better not having to manoeuver around everyone and have the ice to yourself and it was fun to have everyone watching you. It was a good run through before Aberdeen competition."

Kitty Houston, aged 13, skating at Level 3, said: "I liked the Active Stirling gala because we got to show our skills and talents off. It was an opportunity to gain confidence and to perform in front of a crowd. Everyone who skated was so supportive. When someone was nervous and everyone said 'well done' to one another, that made a good atmosphere."

Joanne Turnbull, aged 13, skating at Level 3, said: "I enjoyed the atmosphere of the gala and how supportive everyone was to each other and it gave me and everyone else an opportunity to perform our programmes in front of a crowd.”

Great Britain squad representative and Ice Skater Brodie Sneddon, aged 11 who has been coached over the years by Gemma Chaddock also performed on the day along with 37 other participants.