Youngest competitor wins national title

Youth and experience were  on show as an international field took to the ice for the final day of the National Figure Skating Championships in Dunedin yesterday.

The 80th running of the event, which started on Thursday, wrapped up at the Dunedin Ice Stadium yesterday afternoon.

Among the winners was 8-year-old Dunedin skater Brooke Cathro who clinched a national title when she top-scored in the juvenile ladies’ section. Brooke was among a team of 17 local skaters that took on more than 100 competitors from across New Zealand and Australia.

Brooke was the youngest, while the oldest competitor was 69 years old. Cathro’s win provided a special moment for her mother, Virginia, who is president of the Dunedin Ice Skating Club, which hosted the national event.

Although she spent most the tournament helping run the event, there was an opportunity to watch her daughter compete.

"Our family was very proud.

"I am very grateful to a lot of the other volunteers with me. We all worked very hard to cover each other so we could  watch our own skaters."

Cathro hailed the tournament as a huge success.

"It was a fantastic four days ... we are all tired but fairly jubilant."

The field of 132 skaters represented a particularly strong turnout.

Those who travelled to the event not only enjoyed the skating conditions Dunedin offered, but also the city’s attractions, Cathro said.

"They really enjoyed the city and I know a lot of them got out to the albatross colony and to Cadbury World and downtown."

- Jonny Turner

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