by Anne Calder
IDC 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 instructed that the better ice dance neighborhood needs to 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 so forth.?
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, attributable to my medical situation my care is especially based mostly down in London, so I journey very steadily between the 2 cities and take into account London my second residence.
What's your earliest skating skating reminiscence. How previous had been you once 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 kind of one thing.
My mom realised that this was one thing I used to be involved in 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 shoes 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 practice? Who's your coach and choreographer?
My residence rink is East Kilbride the place I've educated 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 attributable to 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 could possibly present so I additionally skate at Kilmarnock and Coatbridge the place my mom runs an Inclusive skating session for skaters like me with all kinds of disabilities to allow them to have the chance to skate as nicely.
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 might by no means have been capable of obtain something within the regular system of British Ice Skating.
My situation consists of disregulation, so I don’t regulate temperature, coronary heart charge or sugar ranges which imply that I want loads of 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 equivalent to getting me to the rink, guiding me on the ice, which is massively vital as with out my mom guiding me I might not be capable to skate.
Nonetheless, as a lot as there are a lot of obstacles that I face in my skating profession, I've been capable of 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 school in Scotland. What are you finding out? Do you skate and attend lessons on the similar time or are they on completely different schedules?
Sure, I'm at present finding out on the College of Glasgow in my first yr of a 4 yr diploma finding out Social and Public Coverage as my essential diploma.
As a result of Covid Pandemic all of our lectures are on-line in the intervening time, however they're primarily reside which makes it a tad troublesome 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 undoubtedly difficult managing each finding out and skating.
What different competitions have you ever attended as well as the Digital World occasion?
That is going to be an extended checklist! Because it has been 10 years, and I've competed in loads of competitions embody the World Determine Championships in Colorado, USA, the Denims for Genes competitors which was held down in Lammas in Liverpool for quite a few 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 might be one other Digital World Competitors in November 2022. Will you practice for that Occasion?
Completely! I take pleasure in competing as these competitions give me one thing to stay up for in my life as residing with my incapacity is extremely troublesome. Not solely are these competitions vital in serving to me to proceed coaching for my bodily well being, however they're additionally vital for my psychological well being.
I perceive you're a sturdy advocate for Bardet-Biedl Syndrome. What are your actions?
I've been concerned within the BBS Convention which they've held for quite a few years. A number of 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 recognized with BBS in 2015 on the age of 12.
As an additional, there was additionally a brief clip of me on BBC Three which obtained 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 usually exceptional for many individuals.
In line 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 recognized on the time the charity was created. Nonetheless, I've been capable of watch how the charity has grown to have the ability to present alternatives to skaters like myself with many various disabilities throughout the globe.
Resulting from my relationship, I'm usually used because the guinea pig for lots of the occasions. I see the behind the scenes of the whole lot and no person actually understands the quantity of labor and willpower that it takes to run the charity.