Skater – Phebe Bekker

Phebe’s Story

Sixteen-year-old skater Phebe Bekker made her international debut with her ice dance partner James at the September 2021 ISU Junior Grand Prix. Since then they have become the first British ice dancers to receive a medal at a junior Grand Prix and the first British Skaters to qualify for the Grand Prix final. Now they have their sights set on competing in the 2026 Winter Olympics in Milan! Phebe studied for her IGCSEs with Wolsey Hall and shared her experience of what it’s like to be a homeschooling elite athlete.

“I really like homeschooling with Wolsey Hall as the flexibility around my school work has really benefitted my training,” explains Phebe. “The biggest challenge for me is that I tend to fall behind if I’ve had a long week training with not many spare hours. To overcome this, I like to spend time at the weekend catching up or going over topics I struggle with.”

Phebe Bekker is a homeschooling skater

Read Phebe’s most recent update including exam results and plans for the future.

Meet Phebe Bekker and Skating Partner James Hernandez

Phebe Bekker and James Hernandez

Beginning my passion

“I started skating when I was eight years old, which is actually quite late to start. I went to a public skate session every Saturday morning with my friend. I got better each week by teaching myself tricks I saw the older girls doing and one day a coach came to me and asked if I wanted lessons. With the lessons, I slowly progressed to mornings before school and then later, I was training every day. I became British Solo Ice Dance Champion in 2018 and 2019 and in that year, I took an opportunity to change skating disciplines. Switching to ice dancing, I began skating with a boy in London. The training was longer and I had to make the sacrifice to leave school so that I had more time. This is when I started homeschooling with Wolsey Hall.

“I found the transition between full time school and online school a bit challenging as I had to get used to a new way of learning but I adapted due to Wolsey Hall’s amazing resources.”

Studies vs training

“My training times vary daily but average at around 4-5 hours a day. When completed I plan a school schedule of what I want to achieve and after that, the rest of the day is spent doing whatever I want (this normally includes sleeping and eating!) On the week of a competition, I do like to minimise my school work as I have a lot to focus on but I slowly ease back into studying after the competition’s over and catch up on what I have to do.”

“My favourite subject is Psychology. I find learning about it in sport helps and in a training and competitive setting I learn about how different things affect your mind.”

Ice skater Phebe Bekker

Future aspirations

“I skated with my previous partner for a year but it didn’t work out long-term. After spending some time looking for a new partner, I was asked to skate with my now partner, James. James has already represented Great Britain at the international junior grand prix tournaments. There are four other couples competing for Olympic qualification in two years’ time but our coaches are Nicholas Buckland and Penny Coomes, three-time Olympians that represented GB and we have high hopes of following in their footsteps.”

“My hopes for the future is to look back in 20 years and know that I have done everything in my power to achieve my ambitions.”

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