Seven-year-old from Haverhill welcomed into Colchester roller skating club after impressing country’s champion

Colchester's Rollerworld head skating coach and 16 times Great British Champion Skater Chris Fox pre

Colchester's Rollerworld head skating coach and 16 times Great British Champion Skater Chris Fox presents promising young skater Bailey Hobbs with new roller skates. Picture: GREGG BROWN - Credit: Gregg Brown

There was cause for celebration at a Colchester roller skating rink this week as the club welcomed its newest and youngest member to the team.

Colchester's Rollerworld head skating coach and 16 times Great British Champion Skater Chris Fox pre

Colchester's Rollerworld head skating coach and 16 times Great British Champion Skater Chris Fox presents promising young skater Bailey Hobbs with new roller skates. Picture: GREGG BROWN - Credit: Gregg Brown

There was cause for celebration at a Colchester roller skating rink this week as the club welcomed its newest and youngest member to the team.

At just seven-years-old, Bailey Hobbs has defied convention by flying through his basic training to be offered a place at the Rollerworld Artistic Roller Skating Club - a group headed up by Great British Champion Skater Chris Fox.

“He went through the grades quicker than me,” Chris, who also started the grades at the age of seven, said.

“That’s touching in itself, and the sport is female-dominated so to have a young male skater showing that willing is very exciting.”

Colchester's Rollerworld head skating coach and 16 times Great British Champion Skater Chris Fox pre

Colchester's Rollerworld head skating coach and 16 times Great British Champion Skater Chris Fox presents promising young skater Bailey Hobbs with new roller skates. Picture: GREGG BROWN - Credit: Gregg Brown

Bailey, who lives in Haverhill, was welcomed into the 14-strong group with a presentation on June 14 where he received his first pair of competition grade artistic skates – a surprise gift from the club.

The youngster has been coming to Rollerworld for two years and impressed Chris when he discovered Bailey had originally taught himself how to skate.

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“When I went to the grades, I couldn’t skate but he could,” Chris said.

“He was six when he started the grades and he was showing a natural talent. The grades are tricky and when he arrived it was clear that he wasn’t going to enter at grade one. I think he entered at grade three.”

Colchester's Rollerworld head skating coach and 16 times Great British Champion Skater Chris Fox pre

Colchester's Rollerworld head skating coach and 16 times Great British Champion Skater Chris Fox presents promising young skater Bailey Hobbs with new roller skates. Picture: GREGG BROWN - Credit: Gregg Brown

He added: “He is very confident and is just a lovely lad.”

There are six grades to complete as part of the Federation of Artistic Roller Skating taught over eight weeks, with sessions ranging from how to move across the rink to skating backwards and working on jumps.

No stranger to the world of roller skating, Chris is a 16 times Great British Champion Skater, winning his first title in 2000.

Although he retired from professional skating last year, Chris is now head coach at Rollerworld and hopes to enter the club into the British Championships next year.

He said: “I took my position here in January, so for me the club is fairly new, but it’s really exciting to see the young skaters coming through.”