Strong Dunedin contingent for Oceania champs

Dunedin skater Brooke Cathro gets aerial ahead of team-mates (from left) Olivia Dickson, Jazz...
Dunedin skater Brooke Cathro gets aerial ahead of team-mates (from left) Olivia Dickson, Jazz Evangelou, Madison Bryce and Lilah Langi-Scott at the Dunedin Ice Stadium yesterday. PHOTO: STEPHEN JAQUIERY
Lilah Langi-Scott can hardly contain her excitement.

The Dunedin skater gets her first chance to compete overseas when she represents New Zealand at the Oceania international figure skating competition in Melbourne next week.

Lilah, 13, is in good company. Six of the 15 skaters selected are from Dunedin, as are coaches Kaho Hirafune and Stephanie Woodcare.

Lilah will compete in the intermediate novice girls grade, while basic novice skaters Madison Bryce, 13, and Olivia Dickson, 12, and junior skaters Brooke Cathro, 15, Jazz Evangelou, 16, and Misaki Joe, 18, will also travel from Dunedin.

Two team leaders will also join the group.

The Dunedin contingent are a real mix — some skaters have competed overseas while others were newly selected — and Lilah looked forward to seeing her friends compete.

"I can’t wait to compete," Lilah said.

"I’m excited to see the high level of skating and watch the other New Zealand skaters compete," Lilah said.

She knew what to expect at the Oceania competition after competing at the same event in Auckland last year, but heading overseas was a new opportunity for her and reward for countless hours of training.

She would also have the chance to be a demonstrator at one of the coaches’ seminars at the competition.

Lilah started skating when she was 6, after visiting the Dunedin ice rink with some of her friends and falling in love with the sport.

She moved through the ranks through learning to skate and development programmes, before receiving coaching from Hirafune and Woodcare and starting to compete.

"It makes me really happy and I love it," Lilah said.

The competition is from May 29-31.