Two Dundee figure-skaters have refused to let the closure of their local ice rink stop them from taking part in the sport they love.
Plummeting temperatures allowed Louise Essery, 13, and Anya Robertson, 15, to captivate locals as they took to the ice at a pond in Caird Park on Tuesday.
The girls put on their skates after discovering the water at the spot, which is only several inches deep, was completely frozen through.
It is the first time either girl had experienced ice skating in the great outdoors.
Spectators stopped to watch as the girls, who are members of Dundee Ice Skating Club, spent about two hours displaying their incredible abilities on the pond.
Lockdown forced closure of ice rink
Louise’s mum Kerry Essery said the youngsters were delighted to find a way to figure-skate after Dundee Ice Arena shut its doors for the second time in the space of a year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The popular centre had reopened in late August before fresh restrictions came into place across Scotland on Boxing Day.
Kerry said: “They miss it desperately. Normally they are up at 6am in the morning before school. Obviously it is lockdown so they can’t get on the ice at all now.
“It is a huge part of their lives. They love it.
“We saw some skaters in Glasgow that had found a frozen pond and then we heard there was a frozen pond at Caird Park. It is more like a puddle.
“There were a couple of other skaters on the ice. They spent two hours there. They have never done it before, never skated outside before, except maybe at Disneyland.
“They absolutely loved skating outside. It was completely different from skating on an ice rink. They couldn’t do more technical stuff but they just loved it.”
Anya has been taking to the ice since the age of 10, while Louise began skating at five years old.
However, Kerry said her love affair with skating goes back even further.
She said: “My dad, Louise’s grandad, got her into skating because our eldest skated as well. Basically she was born on the Friday and on an ice rink on the Saturday.”
During the first lockdown, the girls were taking part in “off-rink” exercise classes with their coaches to keep them in shape for the return of the sport.
Kerry added: “They couldn’t wait to go back. The off-ice classes really prepared them for going back.”
Anya’s mum Lynne Robertson added: “It was just such a thrill for them. Quite a few people stopped to watch them.”
Cold spell to continue
It comes after sub-zero temperatures brought sheet ice to roads and pavements across Tayside and Fife on Monday.
The freezing conditions don’t look likely to subside any time soon, with forecasters warning of the coldest January in nine years in Scotland.