Story/Interview November 2, 2022

Excelling on the ice and in the online classroom | Lilia Lupanova, Figure Skater

By King's InterHigh

Lilia Lupanova has been figure skating since she was five. With an intense training schedule, she needs a school with flexibility – that’s where King’s InterHigh comes in. Since joining, she finds it easier to balance her time between studying and skating practice.

She also says her teachers are always happy to help, and they give her plenty of opportunities to socialise and make new friends. Pupils should join King’s InterHigh because the whole community is “Accepting, welcoming, and helpful.”

 Tell us a bit about yourself

Lilia: I was born in Russia, but I moved to the Netherlands when I was nine months old for my dad's work. I started skating when I was five, and began going to competitions when I was seven. I love figure skating.

 How did you get into figure skating?

Lilia: My dad brought home a flyer or poster one day, for a competition at an ice rink near us. I remember thinking it looked so beautiful, and I wanted to try it. So we started going to the ice rink twice a week. And then we started going more and more.

I had a coach when I was younger, and then I changed coach when I joined a new club. I've been skating with my club for almost eight years now. It’s like a family - we support each other a lot. There’s lots of socialising in-between practices.

 Do you have any heroes?

Lilia: The skater I look up to the most is Anna Shcherbakova from Russia. She's so resilient and a very beautiful skater. She can jump, she can spin, she has beautiful spirals. She jumps quads, and that's really cool. Not many female skaters jump quads.

 What made you consider online schooling and King’s InterHigh?

Lilia: I have training every day apart from Sunday, and most of this is during school times. My elementary and secondary school were amazing. They let me go early and come back late twice a week. But when I got to secondary school, at one point I was missing around 50% or 60% of the school week, and there was no way I could catch up with the rest.

Even though I was getting good grades, I thought, ‘How long am I going to be able to keep these up?’ And in the Netherlands, there aren't any international sports schools – only Dutch sports schools. I’ve been in the international system since I was four, so I couldn't just switch to the Dutch system.

 How has King’s InterHigh helped you personally?

Lilia: Online schooling has helped me a lot in managing my time for training. The teachers are amazing. I can always contact them when I'm having trouble finishing my assignments before a deadline, and I can always look back on lessons and resources whenever I need to. I can easily find the PowerPoints and the videos as the online platform is very well-made.

When we have breaks, I can train at home, do my off-ice exercises, or do schoolwork. There's not really a point in the school day when I'm not busy doing something!

 What subjects have you chosen for Year 10 and onwards?

Lilia: I've chosen 10 subjects, which is quite a bit. But I'm very interested in everything. I enjoy all the sciences, and Maths. I really like Psychology. All the lessons are very interesting and I’m learning a lot.

“The teachers at King’s InterHigh are amazing. I can always contact them when I'm having trouble finishing my assignments before a deadline.”

 What other hobbies and interests do you have?

Lilia: I really enjoy ballet, but I count that as part of my training, because it's very important for strength and flexibility. I like reading, and I recently started journaling because I think it might be a good way to help me improve on myself.

 How have you found socialising at King’s InterHigh?

Lilia: I use Yammer sometimes, which I think is a very nice social platform. And when we're in our tutor groups, the teachers always give us a couple of minutes in breakout groups just to each other. I think that's also very nice - we can talk about lessons, talk about ourselves and connect on other platforms.

 What plans have you got for the future?

Lilia: I would like to become a figure skating coach, because I've had experience working with a little girl whose mum was friends with my mum, and I would give her lessons. I enjoyed it a lot. I’d also like to study natural sciences - there's a lot of directions I can go with that. Figure skating and schooling are very important to me.

 What advice would you give anyone considering joining King’s InterHigh?

Lilia: Go for it! Online school gives you a lot of time and options. Everything at King’s InterHigh is planned very well. The teachers are very open and understanding, and the whole community is very accepting, welcoming, and helpful.

“The teachers give students plenty of opportunities to talk to each other. We can use that time to learn more about each other and connect on other platforms.”

By King's InterHigh

King’s InterHigh is an independent British international online school. Offering Primary, Secondary and Sixth Form education, we cater to students from age 7 – 18 who are looking for a high quality British education delivered in a way that revolves around their lifestyle.