A Clapham schoolgirl has taken home a host of gold medals and awards this season, despite having only started speed skating one year ago.

12-year-old Alex Snowdon took home three gold medals for the 500m, Super Sprints, and Mass Start categories at the British Longtrack Championships in The Hague recently and followed up by winning the U14 Ladies Short Track Championships title in Sheffield.

Now her newly discovered talent has earned her a short track world ranking as low as 13 for the 333m and a longtrack world ranking of 20 for the 1500m.

Alex said: “After watching Elise Christie compete at the Winter Olympics last year I knew I wanted to be a speed skater.

“It just looked like it would be so much fun. I took time out from ice dance to focus on speed skating but after just a couple of months I decided I did not want to go back. Speed skating is my life now and I seem to have adjusted quickly to skating with super long skates and very different blades.”

Having previously competed as a figure skater and ice dancer, Alex represented the UK a number of times, winning four international golds and one bronze medal in the process. At just 10 years old, she was also the 2017 U13 British Solo Ice Dance silver medallist.

She now skates both short track and longtrack – the former being a lightning-fast winter sport full of unpredictability, where skaters reach speeds of up to 50kmph on blades 46cm long and only 1mm thick.

The latter is the equivalent of running races in athletics and it is regularly done on outdoor natural ice rinks.

Stephen Airey, the UK Longtrack Team Manager said: “Alex came into speed skating just one year ago and through hard work, determination and the coaching skills of UKLongtrack she has now taken the 2019 U13 British Championship title for the 500m Single Distance as well as taking gold in the Supersprint and Mass Start competitions.

“I have no doubt that Alex has a great future in British speed skating and we look forward to working with her again next season and in seeing her continue to go from strength to strength.”