Nineteen-year-old student Holly Hoyland is getting set to compete against junior world champion speed skaters at the ISU World Junior Short Track Speed Skating Championships in Italy on 31st January-2nd February.
Skating since the age of just four, Holly who is from Mapperley, was spotted at the age of nine and asked to join a short track speed skating club. Since then she’s had the chance to travel all over the world, from France and Switzerland to Germany, Norway and The Netherthlands. When she flies out to Bormio, Italy later this month, she will not only be one of the youngest competitors, but she is also the only female from her team to qualify.
Holly works hard to balance her busy training schedule with studying a Level 3 Aviation course at Nottingham College.
Speed skating has been a passion of mine for a very long time, but I also really enjoy my course and I know it’s important to keep up with my studies so that I have options outside of skating.- Holly Hoyland
Holly, who is part of the Speed Skating Performance Programme, qualified for the Junior World Championships and for the World Cup team in Montreal, Canada in November last year coming 13th out of 60 in the 1000m race.
It was a real ‘wow’ moment when I realised I’d qualified. I’m still a junior so I was really chuffed with myself. I’m excited to be competing in a senior competition at a higher level with people who really want to race; it’ll be like stepping into the real world.
"I’m aiming for the 2026 Olympics and these competitions have really opened my eyes to what I could achieve.- Holly Hoyland
Holly is currently recuperating from a hand injury she sustained in France during the Short Track Speed Skating ISU Star Class competition. She said: “ The sport can be dangerous but this is the first major accident I’ve had, and I’m determined not to let it stop me competing.”