By Zjan Shirinian

Robin Cousins will support six figure skaters as they prepare for major competitions ©Getty ImagesFormer figure skating Olympic champion Robin Cousins will help support and develop Great Britain's next generation of world-class skaters after taking up a new role.

Cousins, gold medallist at Lake Placid 1980, has been appointed the high performance programme manager for the National Ice Skating Association's (NISA) World Class Figure Skating Programme.

The 57-year-old will work alongside NISA's performance director Hilary Selby to prepare six UK-Sport funded figure skaters as they build towards the annual World Championships and Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games.

Penny Coomes and Nick Buckland, the 2014 European ice dance bronze medalists, who came 10th at Sochi 2014, are one of the three pairs Cousins will work with.

He will also pass on his skills, advice and experience to three-time British junior ice dancers Olivia Smart and Joe Buckland, brother of Nick, and British pairs champions Amani Fancy and Christopher Boyadji.

Penny Coomes and Nick Buckland are among the three figure skating pairs who Robin Cousins will take under his wing ©Getty ImagesPenny Coomes and Nick Buckland are among the three figure skating pairs who Robin Cousins will take under his wing ©Getty Images

"I'm excited about the opportunity to play a small but significant role in the future of British figure skating," said Cousins, who won World Championships silver in 1980 and European gold in the same year.

"We have a talented group of world class athletes working with some top-level coaches.

"Both NISA and UK Sport have shown confidence in the skaters to select them for the squad and I'll be working to coordinate the goals and targets of both organisations.

"It's about protecting and making best use of the funding available.

"It's also important to set realistic, attainable and short-term targets to help the athletes achieve their long-term goals."

He added: "I will be a point of reference for the skaters and someone to talk to.

"Honesty is essential to get results.

"There is a lot of pressure these days on athletes and I'm there to make sure they deliver what they're capable of."

NISA has been awarded more than £1.5 million ($2.4 million/€1.8 million) from UK Sport for its figure skating high performance programmes for the next four years.