Juggling Elite Gymnastics With Schoolwork

By Zeina Kareem Elwy

Have you ever wondered how to juggle schoolwork and your passions? Do you want to dedicate your life to your passions but are still a student? In this article, we interview Elizabeth Golding, 16-year-old ice skater. She is from Ireland and has a passion for skating! She has competed in many different competitions such as the Junior Grand Prix and the Irish nationals! Wondering how it started? It’s such an unexpected story!

Elizabeth had been signed up to do ballet at the age of six, having to wait for an available ballet teacher. Upon deciding that she should do something to keep busy, her parents took her to the ice rink, where she progressed rapidly and won her first-ever competition at the remarkable age of 6! After the main competition, her parents were told she had great potential and needed to learn how to use it! So, she stuck with skating and has been for 10 years!

Elizabeth has won and lost many competitions throughout her years of training but rather than sulk about it she learns from her mistakes. She learns what she did and didn’t do right and tries to improve on it. A lot like a student in school…

Speaking of have you been wondering how she does it? Manage school and ice skating that is? I had been wondering too!

Her school provides her with learning packs to aid her in her studies. Since she trains in Russia the time difference between day and night is huge. She completes the tasks during her free time and schedules timings for school and for skating. Her teachers record lessons for her to watch back. While her school helps a lot, she also prioritizes the things that need to be done and when in order to separate school from skating.

Have you thought of wanting to pursue your passion? But there is a small little obstacle known as school stopping you, Fear not!

Here are some words of wisdom from an expert!

“Create a schedule and fit in both school time and time for hobbies, so you can be able to enjoy and focus on both without having to worry about one or the other clashing together, and just go for it,” Golding said.

As Benjamin Franklin once said, “You can do anything you set your mind to!” Anyone can do both if they try! As for whether you should pursue a career in your passion?’

“I think figure skating and my schoolwork weigh in at approximately the same, however sometimes I take my schoolwork more seriously than my skating, and vice versa. However, I feel like figure skating is more important at this moment in time, while I am in the prime age and health to be able to train and compete in figure skating competitions, as I will be considered a veteran in this sport by the age of 19/20,” Golding said.

“I will be able to pursue an education at any time in my life, at any age, however, some days I wish I could be like a normal student of my age, and focus mainly on my education, but I understand how figure skating can change my life in the future, so I am focusing on that right now.”

Spoken from the heart and soul! What do you see value in? Chase it!

So, there you have it, folks! I hope you all got to know Elizabeth through her advice! Until next time everyone!

  • This article was contributed by Al Bateen Academy student Zeina Kareem Elwy and completed as part of GYS’ free sports journalism course. The course allows students to gain experience in sports writing and commentary, complete with feedback from the GYS media team. To find out more about the course click here.