GERMAN JOY FOR ICE QUEEN EMMA!

A KATESBRIDGE woman is emerging as one of the hottest properties in ice skating!
Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

Emma Lutton has been in sensational form over the past fortnight, tasting success in England and Germany.

Last week, she returned home with silver from the British Ice Skating Adult Nationals 2024 in Sheffield.

Even better was to follow at the weekend when the 22-year-old was crowned International Champion in Berlin, after a stunning routine wowed the judges. Saturday’s success was in her biggest competition to date, against top skaters in the 'silver' class from across Europe.

SKATING STAR...Emma Lutton, from Katesbridge – a champion in Germany! Picture by Andy Grosschmidt.SKATING STAR...Emma Lutton, from Katesbridge – a champion in Germany! Picture by Andy Grosschmidt.
SKATING STAR...Emma Lutton, from Katesbridge – a champion in Germany! Picture by Andy Grosschmidt.

Emma told Chronicle Sport: "I skated really well, never skated like that in my life. As soon as I finished, the tears started streaming. I heard my score and I knew I'd won.

"I was over the moon about it, I didn't expect it, but it's nice to know that the hard work actually paid off."

Her interest in the sport was sparked as a child - and now she's living the dream with one of her idols…

The former Dromore High School pupil said: "I used to watch Dancing on Ice every Saturday night, religiously, with my family, and my favourites were Ray Quinn and Maria Filoppov.

Emma Lutton (left) and Ellie Goggin with their ice skating medals. Picture courtesy of Belfast City Airport.Emma Lutton (left) and Ellie Goggin with their ice skating medals. Picture courtesy of Belfast City Airport.
Emma Lutton (left) and Ellie Goggin with their ice skating medals. Picture courtesy of Belfast City Airport.

"Now, Maria is my coach, my ice mummy, I see her through the week more than I would see my own parents. It's nice to know when I was younger I was sitting cheering her on. Now she's standing at the side, cheering me on."

Another member of her coaching team is former Olympics coach, Phil Walsh. Dedication is taking Emma, also a sports coach, to the top.

The journey began in earnest as a 17-year-old five years ago. The sporting all-rounder - also a talented runner and horse rider - decided to try a new challenge as part of her sports course at South Eastern Regional College.

"When I started driving, and doing my course at Lisburn SERC, I thought 'right, I can take up another sport, learn about it and do all my assignments on it.' And I just thought it was brilliant. I haven't looked back since."

The hard yards include travelling to Dundonald to train most days of the week; early starts on the road from famously, at times, chilly Katesbridge to the ice in east Belfast!

The next major event is a trip to Italy next month. Emma said: "It'll be a big one because it's another international

event with people from all over Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Germany; pretty much the same people I was competing against in Berlin will be going to this one, and some of the UK skaters as well."

She appreciates all the support from her family (including mum Mandy, dad Eric and sister Olivia) - also friends, and people across the country.

"It's nearly overwhelming but it's nice to know that people aren't forgetting about the sport, they're realising there is a sport in figure skating, and it's not just something you go and do and you're terrified of it.

"It's been amazing."

She would encourage people of all ages to give it a go. The skating star adds: "Age doesn't matter, everybody can do it, once you get the hang of knowing what to do with your feet, it's sometimes easier than walking.

"I find it's easier, I'm very clumsy!

"There are children's competitions and adult competitions, it is very inclusive, there are opportunities to go and compete and everybody is so welcome."

Her ultimate goals include competing at the British Championships and eventually Emma would like to emulate her hero Maria by becoming a full-time ice skating coach.

The sport sometimes goes a little under the radar north and south, but there has been some increasing recognition recently of the progress being made.

Belfast City Airport was quick to spot Emma and her colleague Ellie Goggin after they touched down following championship success across the water.

The airport posted on social media: “Congratulations to Emma Lutton & Ellie Goggin, who were gliding through Belfast City Airport on their way home from @BritishIceSkate's Adult Nationals 2024.”

The travelling is set to continue for local girl Emma, making a name for herself on the international scene after excelling in a number of sports – including horse riding and running.