Champion Great Yarmouth roller skater swaps wheels for blades in rink return

Corrina Haylett with her daughter Isabella, 12, after she won her national title in 2014

Corrina Haylett with her daughter Isabella, 12, after she won her national title in 2014 - Credit: Archant

Gliding around a rink performing loops, twists and acrobatics to delighted audiences and judging panels was a familiar pastime for Corrina Haylett as a youngster.

Corrina Haylett with her iceskating team, Fusion, competing in the rink.

Corrina Haylett with her iceskating team, Fusion, competing in the rink. - Credit: Archant

Growing up in Great Yarmouth the talented rollerskater was a regular fixture at the Winter Gardens in its heyday, entertaining summer season crowds with her skating skills.

Throughout her career, under which she was coached by Jocelyn Taylor, she won numerous national titles and performed with Team GB on the international stage before hanging up her boots in her mid-20s.

But 20 years on she is making a return to the rink with a different pair of boots after taking up ice skating - and is already excelling in her new sport.

The 42-year-old is now a member of a synchronised adult ice skating team that scooped the national title in their discipline this month, and has hopes to compete internationally next year.

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Corrina, a former Great Yarmouth High School student, got into the sport through her daughter Isabella, 12, after the youngster decided to take it up.

'I decided it was the kind of thing, rather than sit and watch, I'd do a few grades. I started at a very low level but I had quite good balance,' she added. 'The coach asked me my history and asked me to join an adult synchro team.'

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The mum-of-one has been skating with her nine-strong team, Fusion, for three seasons. Together they perform techinical elements in formation to music. Corrina added: 'It's been 20 years since I competed on rollerskates and to put skates on again was fairly odd, but once you have the balance that's the most important thing.

'Being on the blade and the ice seems so hard in comparison. Wood gives whereas ice doesn't and any falls are 20 years harder.'

Corrina, who as a rollerskater was crowned Youth British Champion, Junior British Champion and for three years was named Senior British Ladies champion, admitted she never thought she would go back into the rink competitively after hanging up her boots.

But she is now loving her new sport.

'I got this opportunity and I was very intrigued and I wondered whether I still could, it was almost challenging myself do go out and do it,' she added.

'Then at the first training session I was hooked. It's given me a whole new lease of life, I've made some really goof friends out of it and it's got me back into something I loved as a child.'

Corrina now lives in Berkshire, where her team is based, but comes back to Yarmouth regularly where she still has family and often pops in to Retroskate to catch up with childhood skating pals.

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