This February, James Hernandez in Year 9 and his skating partner Emily travelled to Bavaria, Germany for The Bavarian Open International Figure Skating competition, representing England for their age group.

James first found his passion for figure skating when he was six. From an early age, he showed great enthusiasm and was a very promising skater. Eight years on, James has been British Ice Dancing Champion five times and at the National Finals in Sheffield last December, James and Emily won convincingly and so were selected to represent England internationally.

This was an incredible achievement in itself but when they arrived in Bavaria they were met by a strong field of professional figure skaters from all over the world. On the first day of competition, they had to skate twice to the Rocker Foxtrot and Starlight Waltz - both difficult songs to dance to. They skated well in both and following a nervous start, James and Emily were pleasantly surprised when they found out that they were in 5th place out of 15.

By day two, James and his partner were more nervous. To add to the anxiety, they were drawn last to skate. Aware of the high standards and the level they needed to perform at, James and his partner skated the best they ever had and once the scores were announced, they achieved 51.02 - a great score and an excellent way to finish off to a tournament of such high standards.

Overall they finished 4th out of 15, as well as receiving some superb comments from world-class judges. On behalf of everyone at DCGS, I’d like to congratulate James and Emily for this amazing achievement and I wish him the best of luck in any figure skating competitions in the future. .