Short track star gets set for Krasnoyarsk 2019 Winter Universiade

Ethan Treacy in action on the ice (Credit: John Rowley)

Short track speed skater and Beijing 2022 hopeful Ethan Treacy heads to Russia this week to represent Great Britain in the 2019 Winter Universiade. We caught up with the TASS athlete who has ice in is blood.

TASS: How much are you looking forward to testing yourself at Krasnoyarsk 2019?

Ethan Treacy:  I compete from March 4-6. I’m really excited to get out to Krasnoyarsk and soak up the experience of my first multi event competition.

TASS: You’re also a full-time student…

ET: Yes I’m halfway through my first year at the University of Nottingham, studying Industrial Economics.

TASS: How important is it for you to pursue your education at the same time as focusing on life as an elite athlete?

ET: Education is pretty important to me. Although speed skating is my main priority and my passion, someday my sport career will come to an end and when I’m looking for a new career, a university education will give me greater options.

TASS: The dual career approach is never easy – what are the benefits and what are the challenges facing young people combining education with sport?

ET: The benefits of education and sport for me are the access to brilliant facilities and support resources through schemes like TASS in which I am able to study and train in one place. Another positive aspect is being able to hang out with friends from university, giving you a break and allowing you to switch off from the pressures of training and competition. The biggest challenge I’m facing is my time management – trying to fit in the workload of university with my training schedule. Being organised and using my time wisely is key.

TASS: As a new TASS athlete what support services are you hoping to tap into and which areas can really benefit you?

ET: I’m hoping to really utilise the S&C support from TASS as this is support that I’m losing following the closure of the world class programme. Although I won’t need to tap into the medical scheme and physiotherapy support yet, it is extremely reassuring to know that I can access it if needs be.

TASS: Without TASS support would it be more difficult to achieve your sporting goals and stay on top of your education?

ET: Yes, especially with the closure of the national world class programme which I was previously on. Without TASS I would then have to outsource support such as a S&C and physiotherapy – taking up more time and energy. With TASS I’m able to be more effective in my training and education as the two are integrated.

Ethan Treacy was previously a SportsAid-supported athlete (Credit: Nick Webster/Sports Beat)

TASS: Can you recall the first time you strapped on a pair of skates and why did skating appeal to you?

ET: I first went skating on a family holiday in New York and we all went ice skating in Central Park. It was spring and the ice was melting and we were all extremely bad falling multiple times and getting absolutely soaked from the melting rink!

TASS: When did you choose to focus on short track speed skating – were there other options to pursue on the ice?

ET: Growing up I loved playing football and tennis but when I was 16 I started to focus more on skating. In terms of on the ice I’ve done some skating on hockey skates – which I’m a bit shaky on! In the future I might look at giving long track a go too.

TASS: With two brothers also competing as speed skaters at the highest level is there an element of competition within the family?

ET: There’s always been competition growing up between us in everything we do – even in the littlest and silliest things such as wrestling for the front car seat. But as we go through our careers this competition between us is to our advantage as we are able to push each other in training and competition.

TASS: How on earth have your parents managed to make sure all three of you have been where you needed to be over the years – for training and competitions?

ET: Our parents have been so amazing in supporting us and giving up their weekends taking us to training and competitions. Growing up, most of the time the three of us would generally go to the same competitions making the logistics for my parents slightly easier. We are also lucky to have coaches willing to take us to international competitions giving our parents a slight break from skating.

TASS: Aside from skating what else do you and your brothers have in common?

ET: We all support Birmingham City FC. Me and Farrell were season ticket holders when we were younger – we still try and make it to matches but due to our busy competition schedule we can only make it too a handful of matches. We spend a lot of time together playing FIFA, especially when we are away at competition.

TASS: What are the plans for the remainder of the 2018/19 season?

ET: I’m coming towards the end of the season with just the British Championships left at the end of March.