Wolsey Hall Oxford student wins junior ice skating crown

AN OXFORD student is celebrating her British Junior Championship title and has her sights set on the Winter Olympics in four years.

Phebe Bekker, a student at Wolsey Hall Oxford, and her ice skating partner James Hernandez won their first British title in ‘ice dancing’ at the British Figure Skating Championships, held in Sheffield.

Phebe, 16, who grew up in Surrey, and James, born in Buckinghamshire, only announced their ice dancing partnership in January 2021.

They have since trained in the United States, before competing in Slovenia and Poland.

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Phebe said: “After a relatively short time together, we are delighted to win our first British title.

“We are now back in America to continue training for the second half of the season.

“We are delighted to be participating in the 2022 World Junior Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria in mid-March.

“Being selected to go to the World Junior Championships this year has been such a privilege and delivering two flawless performances that we are proud of is a big goal for us.”

ice skating partner James Hernandez. Image courtesy of Wolsey Hall Oxford” alt=”Oxford Mail: Phebe Bekker and her ice skating partner James Hernandez. Image courtesy of Wolsey Hall Oxford” class=”editor-image”/>Phebe Bekker and her ice skating partner James Hernandez. Image courtesy of Wolsey Hall Oxford

Last month, Phebe and James competed at the British Championships, where they received first place for their short program, as well as their free skate.

The pair then skated with first place overall with a score of 148.03.

Phebe has now set her sights on competing in the 2026 Winter Olympics in Italy.

She said, “After that [Junior World Championships]we hope to participate in the Winter Olympics in Milan in 2026.

“Although I’m a full-time athlete, I also want to make sure I get a quality education.

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“All of this was made possible by combining my long hours on the ice with the flexible home schooling system available through Wolsey Hall.

“Last summer I received my GCSE results and to say I was satisfied is an understatement.

“The two years I was most proud of were my 9 in English language and my 8 in psychology.

“Homeschooling has taught me so much more than I ever thought possible and opened up so many amazing opportunities for me.

“It also gave me a lot of independence which I love more than anything.”

Wolsey Hall was founded in 1894, providing home study and tuition to students in over 120 countries.

Nelson Mandela studied at Wolsey Hall for his law degree from the University of London, while at Robben Island prison in South Africa.

In 2012, Wolsey Hall launched online A-level courses, with fees reaching £875.

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