It may be the hottest month of the year, but for the most of it Kelso’s Erin McLeod has been enjoying her summer holidays in much cooler temperatures.
For the 15-year-old has been carving herself a path on the Scottish figure skating circuit with rising degrees of success over the past 12 months.
Last December, Erin took the silver medal at a National Ice Skating Association (NISA) Silver Star competition at Murrayfield Ice Rink in Edinburgh, and in March collected three golds at Kelso’s Border Ice Rink.
And last month, back up at Murrayfield, she took the gold in a NISA Gold Star event, following a gruelling, but highly-rewarding, one minute, 30 second routine.
Erin told The Southern: “I wanted to perfect my sit spin – it’s really hard to do and has taken a lot of work, but I am really happy with it now and think that maybe clinched the gold for me. I was skating to Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean and just really enjoyed the whole routine.”
After the school holidays, Erin will be starting fifth year at Kelso High School, and has been skating since she was seven years old.
“My mum took me ice-skating in Glasgow and I loved it from that very first time. It was exciting, I could skate, it was fast, and I really wanted to keep doing it.”
And that’s exactly what she did.
Working with Kelso coaches Alison Inness and Bill Watt, and Murrayfield coach Maureen Dempster, the young Tweedsider is amassing an impressive collection of titles and is looking for many more.
“I want to start working on an axle jump – it’s the most difficult one, but I can’t wait to start training for it,” she added.
“I was always a bit of a daredevil as a child. Ice skating has allowed me to still be one, and taught me how to control it.
“Skating feels natural for me. It’s great learning new elements and once I learn them, it feels effortless.”
So while all around her are soaking up the rays, Erin is busy training at Murrayfield where the season is continuous. The Border Ice Rink season restarts in September, when she will go back to coach on Sundays when she is not training in Edinburgh.
She concluded: “Skating is a great sport to do – I have to keep fit and I train regularly. I enjoy it so much – as soon as I step on the ice, nothing else matters. It’s like an escape, I feel like a different person when I skate.
“I’m so proud of my achievements in the sport so far and I am excited to see what I can do in the future with it.”