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Sutton St James siblings are all champions in speed skating




Three siblings are putting a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘get your skates on’.

Nine-year-old Leah Barker and her brothers Kirby (8) and Taylor (11), are all pupils at Sutton St James Community Primary School - and are all champions in inline speed skating.

It was Taylor who first got into roller skating just two years ago and asked his mum and dad, Jenny and Paul, for a pair of inline skates for Christmas.

Taylor (11), Leah (9) and Kirby (8) with their skates and medals.
Taylor (11), Leah (9) and Kirby (8) with their skates and medals.

He quickly found he had a flair for the sport and was followed into skating by Kirby and Leah.

This year, Leah took gold when she came in at first place in speed skating in her age group at the Outdoor British Championships, held in Gravesend in Kent.

Taylor set a new British record in his category in the relay - and despite a huge tumble in his individual 3,000 metre race, he still came in third, after picking himself up and carrying on to the finish line.

Leah Barker with her medals that she took into school for a special assembly.
Leah Barker with her medals that she took into school for a special assembly.

Kirby also celebrated success, coming in at second place in all of his races.

The trio train at Skaters roller rink in Wisbech once a week and race for Wisbech Inline Speed Skating Club’s team.

As well as collecting various medals and trophies since they began the sport, Leah recently took her medals into school as part of a celebration assembly.

Head teacher, Claire Willows, said: “We are really proud of all three of them. They've only been doing it two years and they really enjoy it."

Taylor, Leah and Kirby with their skates and medals.
Taylor, Leah and Kirby with their skates and medals.

Their mum added: “They have quickly progressed. Their coach enters them into the competitions and they compete in both outdoor and indoor championships. They go all over the place to compete, from London, to Birmingham and Derby.

“I think it’s fantastic and we are so proud of them.

“Taylor had a massive crash out in his race but got back up and still came third in his category - and his relay team broke the British record.”

Leah, as well as skating, also fits in time for gymnastics.

Inline skates are thought to have originated in Scandinavia or Northern Europe, based on ice skating, which was an easy way to travel short distances.

It's believed that inline skates came before quad skates (with a pair of wheels at the back and a pair at the front); although most people may remember learning to skate using the latter.

The Wisbech Inline Speed Skating Club was formed in 1978 by John Smith, originally as a quad speed skating club. It was originally called Wisbech Roller Speed Club and within a year was thriving with over 60 members, ranging in age from 9-60 years old. Its members have numerous claims to fame and it is affiliated to the speed skating governing body, the Federation of Inline Speed Skating.

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