A local ice dancer has won Achievement and Performance of the Year at Preston’s sixth annual MWR Preston Sports Awards.
It rounds off a successful year for Louise Walden, who said she was “honoured” to be awarded the prize at the Guild Hall on Friday.
“I didn’t really know about the awards until very near to the time, but it was great to be shortlisted and even better to win the award” she said.
Preston-born but now training with her partner Owen Edwards in Lyon, the award completes a series of successes for the pair as they were recently crowned the the 2011 British and Welsh Ice Dance champions. They now train at the CSG International Skating Academy “with the world’s best” including former World and Olympic champions, and enjoy the extra support and co-ordination that being able to train all in one place brings.
Walden says that Preston is still “very close to her heart” but that facilities in the UK often means travelling around to many different venues to organise training and competitions, with her partner hailing from Wales.
Asked whether she thought recent programmes like Dancing on Ice were good for ice dancing she replied:
“It’s definitely raised the profile of the sport, and definitely not negative publicity as hopefully it’ll inspire and encourage a lot of new talent.
“However, it is easy to lose sight of how difficult it actually is, I’ve skated for over 15 years!”
Walden and Edwards are now back in France training hard, you can keep up with them by following them on Twitter @louiseandowen or join their Facebook page here. Take a look at the full gallery of all the winners at the Preston Sports Awards here.