Champs chance to shine

Dunedin ice figure skater Brooke Cathro (11) prepares for the nationals, which will be staged at...
Dunedin ice figure skater Brooke Cathro (11) prepares for the nationals, which will be staged at the Dunedin Ice Stadium this weekend. PHOTO GREGOR RICHARDSON
Brooke Cathro has been ice skating almost as long as she has been able to walk.

The 11-year-old is competing in the advanced novice section at the New Zealand Ice Figure Skating Championships, which begin in Dunedin today.

The event has attracted 114 competitors — a good number considering the event was only confirmed late due to Covid -19 — and the quality of the field is high.

Brooke, who attends St Mary’s School in Mosgiel, is looking forward to showing off her skills on the ice.

But most of all, the year 7 pupil is looking forward to a day off school on Tuesday. She will still be competing and perhaps in contention for a medal when the championships conclude.

Brooke was introduced to the ice as a toddler — just 2 years old, in fact. Her brothers had "needed somewhere to go for a date, so I just tagged along", she said.

"My older brother Jackson wanted to try it and so one day I saw a coach walking along and I asked her if she could teach me how to skate."

Nine years later and Brooke is a whizz on the ice.

She can do incredible things with blades beneath her feet and hopes do to well in the championships.

She has previously competed in the championships and has collected gold, silver and bronze.

Her rival, Auckland’s Marina Chen, is a whizz as well.

"I’m hoping to win but the girl I’m going against is really good, so I’m not sure."

Win or not, it is fun and that is the reason Brooke has been skating as long as she has.

Brooke really enjoys performing but the grading tests are nerve-wracking.

"Performing is fun but doing the testing is absolutely terrifying."


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