by Anne Calder
IDC just lately posted a visitor article by American retired ice dance competitor Christopher Martin Davis:, titled Ice Dancing for Everybody: How Inclusive Skating is Increasing our Sport into the Future. The writer advised that the better ice dance neighborhood must be launched to Juliana Sweeney-Baird. The next is the Q&A interview with the 2021 Inclusive Skating Solo World Champion.
Please inform me about your loved ones, the place you grew up and reside, siblings and many others.?
I’ve two older siblings: A sister who’s 29 and a brother who’s 22 years previous. My mom is Irish and my father is Scottish so all of my siblings together with me have Irish passports.
I used to be born in London [March 3, 2003] and spent the primary 4 years of my life in London earlier than my siblings, mom and I moved to Glasgow in Scotland. Nonetheless, my sister and brother now reside again down in London while my mom and I nonetheless reside in Bearsden, Scotland.
Nonetheless, because of my medical situation my care is especially based mostly down in London, so I journey very regularly between the 2 cities and contemplate London my second house.
What’s your earliest skating skating reminiscence. How previous had been you if you first placed on a pair of skates and started your skating journey?
My earliest skating reminiscence is when my mom took me to Torino, Italy in 2010 to see the World Championships of determine skating and I used to be in awe at what I noticed. I sat within the viewers for hours and watched the entire determine skaters which for a 7 yr previous is sort of one thing.
My mom realised that this was one thing I used to be serious about and in the summertime of 2010 she enrolled me into the study to skate program on the East Kilbride rink. On the age of seven I placed on my first pair of trainers and stepped onto the ice for the very first time in my life.
How lengthy have you ever been skating and competing.
I’m now 19 so I’ve been skating for 12 years and competing for 10 of these years.
The place do you prepare? Who’s your coach and choreographer?
My house rink is East Kilbride the place I’ve skilled for a few years and my coach is Leanne Collins who can be my choreographer. My mom Margarita Sweeney additionally spends an enormous period of time guiding me on the ice because of my visible impairment and training me.
As a result of Covid Pandemic the rink has been very impacted within the quantity of skating hours it might present so I additionally skate at Kilmarnock and Coatbridge the place my mom runs an Inclusive skating session for skaters like me with all types of disabilities to allow them to have the chance to skate as effectively.
How has Bardet-Biedl Syndrome affected your skating?
Bardet-Biedl Syndrome Kind 1, the situation that I’ve has massively impacted my skating profession. With out inclusive skating I’d by no means have been in a position to obtain something within the regular system of British Ice Skating.
My situation contains disregulation, so I don’t regulate temperature, coronary heart price or sugar ranges which imply that I want numerous care to ensure that me to have the ability to skate.
I’m very lucky that my mom has been extremely supportive of my skating profession reminiscent of getting me to the rink, guiding me on the ice, which is massively essential as with out my mom guiding me I’d not be capable of skate.
Nonetheless, as a lot as there are lots of obstacles that I face in my skating profession, I’ve been in a position to overcome these with assist from my coach Leanne and my dad and mom who’re each extremely supportive of me and my skating profession.
I perceive you additionally attend faculty in Scotland. What are you learning? Do you skate and attend lessons on the identical time or are they on completely different schedules?
Sure, I’m at present learning on the College of Glasgow in my first yr of a 4 yr diploma learning Social and Public Coverage as my most important diploma.
As a result of Covid Pandemic all of our lectures are on-line for the time being, however they’re primarily reside which makes it a tad tough to make lectures as a few of these are instantly after I skate.
My skating is within the morning, after which I’ve lessons within the weekdays. On the weekends I skate and don’t have any lessons. Nonetheless, it’s positively difficult managing each learning and skating.
What different competitions have you ever attended as well as the Digital World occasion?
That is going to be a protracted listing! Because it has been 10 years, and I’ve competed in numerous competitions embody the World Determine Championships in Colorado, USA, the Denims for Genes competitors which was held down in Lammas in Liverpool for numerous years.
I’ve additionally competed within the Scottish championships that was held in 2019, the Santa Claus Cup in Finland, and I’ve additionally competed in competitions in Iceland.
There shall be one other Digital World Competitors in November 2022. Will you prepare for that Occasion?
Completely! I take pleasure in competing as these competitions give me one thing to sit up for in my life as residing with my incapacity is extremely tough. Not solely are these competitions essential in serving to me to proceed coaching for my bodily well being, however they’re additionally essential for my psychological well being.
I perceive you’re a robust advocate for Bardet-Biedl Syndrome. What are your actions?
I’ve been concerned within the BBS Convention which they’ve held for numerous years. Just a few years in the past I gave a presentation to the opposite people who find themselves a part of the Bardet-Biedl neighborhood who had been on the convention from a affected person’s perspective.
That is the important thing occasion that I’ve taken half in over time and have been going there even earlier than I used to be identified with BBS in 2015 on the age of 12.
As an additional, there was additionally a brief clip of me on BBC Three which acquired over 2 million views which was about my skating and my situation. This video helped to unfold consciousness of the situation as it’s extremely uncommon and is commonly remarkable for many individuals.
In keeping with Christopher Davis’ visitor article, Margarita Sweeney-Baird based Inclusive Skating in 2012. Please share your relationship.
Sure, my mom created the Inclusive Skating Charity for folks with disabilities. No, I used to be not the inspiration for the charity as I used to be not even identified on the time the charity was created. Nonetheless, I’ve been in a position to watch how the charity has grown to have the ability to present alternatives to skaters like myself with many alternative disabilities throughout the globe.
On account of my relationship, I’m typically used because the guinea pig for lots of the occasions. I see the behind the scenes of all the pieces and no person actually understands the quantity of labor and willpower that it takes to run the charity.