Activities and Events January 18, 2017 by St Giles

Interview with Kengo Shibata – A Japanese Student Studying at St Giles Brighton

During the winter months in Brighton there is an ice skating rink in the local public gardens. Some of the office staff recently had a session there and were amazed to see one of St Giles’ Japanese students as he twirled and swooped confidently around the rink! Administrator at St Giles Brighton, Sheila, interviewed Kengo to find out more.

Kengo Shibata small

Please tell me more about your skating!
I skated from when I was about 3 or 4 until I was 22. I competed in Japanese national competitions – but unfortunately I came bottom! In 2012 I passed the exam to become an international judge (at the lower level) for solo figure-skating, which is dancing on ice to music. In 2014 I tried to get to the higher level but I did not succeed, partly because my English was not good enough so that is the reason I came to St Giles. I have been here for 10 months.

Is figure-skating popular in Japan?
Yes, for both men and women. Skaters often come highly placed in our Sportsman of the Year competitions!

It must be good exercise!
Yes, it uses both arms and legs and all the core muscles.

Do you work as well as judge skating?
Yes, because I do not get paid for the judging, as it is all voluntary. I work at the Japanese electric power company; I’m afraid I don’t use English in my job as it is a national company.

How are you getting on at St Giles?
I am enjoying life at St Giles; I like having friends of different nationalities, I am really satisfied with my teachers and the system here. And I feel that my English has improved!

Thank you, Kengo, for chatting to us about ice skating!