Lily's a rollerblade world champ at 13!
A Wigan schoolgirl has been crowned a world champion after proving she is a whizz on wheels.
Lily Elsworthy, 13, took up inline skating just 18 months ago and quickly found she had a flair for the new sport.
She has now won the division three novice title in the World Open Inline Artisique Championship in Dijon, France.
It marked swift progress for the Orrell St Peter’s RC High School pupil, who finished seventh in the world championship last year.
Her proud mum Wendy, from Up Holland, said: “She was absolutely ecstatic that she took gold at the world championships.
“She knew how good the winner was last year and she was over the moon.
“She was absolutely made up.”
Lily took up ice skating five years ago when she started lessons at the Silver Blades ice rink in Altrincham.
Her coach Donna McCarthy was approached 18 months ago to put together an off-ice team and Lily got involved.
She trains between three and five times each week, splitting her time between ice and off-ice training.
Inline figure skating, sometimes known as rollerblading, is a relatively new sport and is similar to ice skating, but is done on a wooden floor rather than ice.
The skates are on wheels, but in a single straight line for extra speed unlike regular roller blades, and so they work in the same way that ice skates do and are easier to manoeuvre around obstacles.
Mrs Elsworthy said: “She loves both the off-ice and the on-ice.
“Obviously it’s a bit warmer for the spectators on the off-ice, because it’s in a normal sports hall, but it’s quite difficult to find the right size and right kind of floor.”
Lily, who is part of the UK Silverblades inline skating team, took gold in a competition in Venice in May.
The organisers were so impressed that they asked her to perform again at the end to showcase her skills.
The team then travelled to France for last week’s competition and attended the opening ceremony with 350 skaters competing from 15 different countries.
As well as Lily’s success, six other members of the team were also crowned world champions.
Lily has now returned to training and plans to take part in more competitions next year.