A British figure skater who learned his trade at Whitley Bay has announced his retirement from competitive skating.
David Richardson, of Newcastle, started skating at the age of seven after his aunt took him to Whitley Bay Ice Rink as a birthday treat.
The 27-year-old went on to become British champion and compete in the World Championships but has now decided to call time on his career to focus on shows and coaching.
Richardson started competing at the age of nine, becoming British Novice Men’s Champion at the age of 13, being British Junior Men’s Champion four years later and being British Senior Men’s champion in 2010.
He said: “The international meetings gave me a good grounding and sound experience to move forward and compete at the top level. Ice skating abroad is totally different to skating at home.
“It was tough though because I didn’t live and train in that environment every day, but I gradually got used to it with the support of my family and coaches.”
Richardson added: “I have to say a huge thank you to my family, in particular to my Mum and Dad and my Grandparents. Without their time and support none of my success would have been possible.”
As a thank you to his roots, Richardson has donated his trophy haul to Whitley Bay Ice Rink for use in club competitions. One of the trophies will be renamed the David Richardson Trophy, and will be awarded at the Annuals for the ‘Most Entertaining Skater’, as Richardson has recently won an online poll for this title.
Richardson will remain involved in the sport as a coach and is also looking to take up a professional role in an ice show.
He said: “For now, I will continue to develop my coaching career with the possibility of performing in shows professionally.
“Whitley Bay Ice Rink has been extremely supportive to me, both whilst training there and after I moved away, which I’m very grateful for.
“Somewhere along the line I would like to return to the north east to give something back to the area.”