Royal fillip for figure skating competition

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THE Earl of Wessex will be the guest of honour at a figure skating championships which are to be held in Sheffield next month.

Prince Edward will attend the first day of the ISU European Figure Skating Championships, on January 25 at the city’s Motorpoint Arena.

The event is being hosted in the UK for the first time for over 20 years. The Earl will represent the Queen, who is patron of the National Ice Skating Association (NISA).

Keith Horton, chief executive of NISA said he was delighted that the Earl would be visiting the arena to see the action and attend the official opening ceremony.

He said: “To have Prince Edward’s support for this event is fantastic and we are extremely excited to be able to welcome him to Sheffield to see some of Europe’s finest skaters in action.

“It is sure to be a very special occasion.”

The arena is staging the ISU European Figure Skating Championships between January 23 and January 29.

The event will see 200 elite international skaters from 39 countries compete in front of crowds in ladies, men’s, pairs and dance disciplines.