Ice skaters compete in resort

Southland ice skaters Dashane Du Plessis and Isabelle Guise (both 16) practise  ahead of the...
Southland ice skaters Dashane Du Plessis and Isabelle Guise (both 16) practise ahead of the South Island Figure Skating Championships in Queenstown yesterday. Photo: Tracey Roxburgh
bout 120 people are hitting the ice in Queenstown this weekend, competing in the South Island Figure Skating Championships.

South Island president Jamie Anderson-Campbell, who is also the treasurer of the Queenstown Ice Skating Club, said competitors ranged in age from 6 to 70. About 20 of the competitors were aged  40-70 and there were about 15 males competing.

Many of the skaters were hoping to qualify for the national championships in individual, pairs and synchronised — groups of between 8 and 16 — being held in Auckland in October.

The championships rotated around the southern region. The Queenstown Ice Rink was hosting the event for the first time since 2014.

Mrs Anderson-Campbell said the younger skaters had been training three times a week before school for about six months in preparation for the competition season.

The season  included events in Southland, Dunedin, Alexandra and Christchurch.

Since the start of the year the Queenstown club had grown from 16 skaters to almost 40.

That was  largely due to the Kiwi Skate programme, which was run by the ice rink and provided a taster of the sport for beginners.

After that, skaters could choose to join a Saturday morning programme and then continue  with the club.

The championships began yesterday. After practice rounds this morning, competition skating will be held from 12.15pm to 5.35pm tonight and from 10am to about 1.30pm tomorrow.

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