A teenager from Wiltshire has been crowned the winner of a national skating competition and she is now preparing to compete in Europe in just a few weeks.

Orla Willis, 14, from Faringdon, won the GB Skate Artistic National Championships last weekend in Norfolk with a 10-point lead over her competitors.

Orla, who skates for Marlborough-based Moonrakers Roller Skating Club, started skating recreationally when she was just seven-years-old, but has since competed across the country and she will represent Team GB at the end of July in the European Championships in Portugal.

Orla said: “It was really magical to be in first place after all the training and preparing I had to do to achieve my dream. There were two dances and after the first one I came in first place, so it was just about doing what I knew I could do to keep my first place and I did it.

“A big part is mental preparation and remembering to keep calm. I listen to the music from my dances and try to visualise it and then I do a few runs just to get into the space and try not to watch what my competitors are doing.

“I’m incredibly excited to compete at the European Championships and to be on the team with the skaters I’ve looked up to for years. I just want to deliver as much as possible on the day. I’m training three or four times a week and re-watching and reviewing my past programmes to see what I like about them. I also do ballet and gymnastics to work on strength.

“It’s been quite difficult to balance school and a social life with skating but I’m glad that I did because of where I am now and I’d like to thank my coaches and people who have supported me”, she added.

Her coach Tia Shortall said: “Orla is just brilliant. She scored fantastically last weekend and delivered two amazing programmes. I know she’s excited but nervous for the European Championships and she is quite young for that level of experience."

Orla’s mum Rosamund Willis said: “I’ll be going to watch her in Portugal and I’m so proud. She’s worked so hard and it’s paying off.” 

The family are organising a roller-disco fundraiser on Friday, July 19 at Marlborough Leisure Centre, with the ticket proceeds funding Orla’s travel for the European Championships.