John and Sinead Kerr to retire from competitive skating

Sinead and John Kerr dance to bronze in Bern
Sinead and John Kerr danced to European bronze in January

Two-time European bronze medallists John and Sinead Kerr will retire from competitive amateur ice dancing at the end of the season.

The brother-sister partnership have been forced to pull out of this month's delayed Figure Skating World Championships through injury.

Sinead, 32, had suffered the recurrence of a shoulder injury.

And the pair announced on their own website: "We are not planning on continuing competing next season."

Sinead and younger brother John, 30, won European bronze medals for Great Britain in 2009 and 2011 and were national champions from 2004 until 2010.

They were 10th at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin and 8th four years later in Vancouver.

But injury has thwarted their hopes of ending their career on a high at the world championships, which start on 24 April after being switched from Tokyo to Moscow because of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

"Although it has been printed in a couple of newspapers, we hadn't actually - as yet - officially announced our retirement from competitive skating," said their statement.

"However, we did indicate to the Scottish media that the worlds would have been our last competition and, although we were waiting until the end of the season to say anything for sure, we now feel we should say ourselves that we are not planning on continuing competing next season.

"Ours has been an amazing career and we feel very fortunate to have so many fantastic memories from our 10 years of competing together."

The pair now appear poised to continue skating professionally in a non-competitive environment.

"We will, of course, continue to skate in shows and feel excited at the freedom this will allow us in making up (hopefully!) entertaining routines," they added.

"We will be involved in skating still for a long time to come as it has obviously become a huge part of our lives and we still love it.

"So we look forward to performing again soon - just in a less stressful environment."