A YOUNG figure skater who has dedicated his life to the sport has been nominated for this year’s Proud of Barnsley awards in recognition of everything he has achieved.

Billy Wilson-French, 15, competes in both men’s solo and ice dance disciplines of the sport and trains in Sheffield six days a week.

His training schedule means Billy is waking up at 4.30am to train before school and very rarely has a social life.

Over the past five years Billy has gained seven British titles, 40 gold medals, ten silver medals and three bronze medals, was the first non-professional dancer to be invited to skate with Disney on Ice, and is an ambassador for SIV Health and Wellbeing Charity.

During the 2018/19 season, Billy and his partner Lucy moved up to international junior level - a level in which they will soon begin to train towards being international skaters and the ultimate goal of participating in the Winter Olympics.

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Billy has spent time in the USA with Olympic coach Marina Zouave and was coached by Olympic gold medalists Meryl Davies and Charlie White.

During the current season Billy and Lucy are being considered to represent Great Britain at the Junior Grand Prix.

Earlier on in the year Billy was invited to an international camp to train with some of the top coaches, which gave him the chance to compete at an international competition in Oberstdorf, Germany, alongside some of the top junior competitors in the world.

“I’m so proud that I’ve been nominated for a Proud of Barnsley award,” said Billy.

“Barnsley is my town and I want to make them proud, it’s a great feeling when your hometown gets behind you.

“It takes a town to make a champion.”

Billy’s mum, Natalie French, said: “Billy’s commitment and dedication to his chosen sport is immense and all who know him are proud of what he has achieved. He wants to make Britain and Barnsley proud.”