Kazakh national Lyudmila Zykova may only be in Year 3 but she has been selected to be part of the UAE National Ice-Skating Team.
Although, she is not allowed to compete immediately given her young age and according to the UAE regulations, but she will be participating in international competitions as soon as she turns eight.
“I have already begun training with the other skaters in the national team, having secured special a KHDA approval to leave school early at 2pm to attend these training sessions. My school has fully been supporting and cheering for me, all the way,” says The GEMS Royal Dubai School pupil.
Lyudmila was born in Kazakhstan in May 2015 and moved to Dubai the same year with her family when she was two months old. She has been learning to ice skate since a young age.
“I first got interested in ice skating when I was three years old. I saw a competition on the television and loved it. So, I asked my mother if I could start learning it. I’m the first skater in my family,” says the little girl proudly.
She adds, “As soon as I told my mother I want to ice skate, she looked for a good trainer and the right place for me to develop my skills. I train regularly after school and on the weekends. In September, I went through a series of auditions to join the UAE National Skating Team. To compete nationally, skaters have to be eight years old, so I’ll only officially join the team next year. But that hasn’t stopped me from already training and working with the team to make sure I’m ready as soon as I turn eight. I’m really excited and proud to be part of the UAE National Team.”
While the year three student trains regularly for long hours, but her parents also make sure that she is not deprived of the usual things that children of her age typically enjoy.
“School and training take up a large chunk of my day, I still love to keep active by visiting the park and playing with my friends,” says the Dubai resident.
Shedding light on her future plans, and how she perseveres to be the best, Lyudmila avers, “Ice-skating is hard work, but I enjoy the challenge. I love to learn and test my skills on the ice. My dream is to become a professional ice-skating champion one day. I want to go for gold at the Olympics in the near future.”