Aussie in­line speed skat­ing ti­tles

Avon Valley Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - Sarah Brookes

HOVEA res­i­dent Mikayla Smith ( 10) is ready to put her best foot for­ward when she com­petes in the 2018 Aus­tralian In­line Speed Skat­ing Na­tion­als on Jan­uary 15 at the old RAC de­fen­sive driv­ing track at Perth Air­port.

Skate WA state ad­min­is­tra­tor Pauline Robert­son said the event served as the qual­i­fy­ing event for the Aus­tralian team to com­pete at the 2018 World Cham­pi­onships in the Nether­lands and 2018 Ocea­nia Cham­pi­onships in New Zealand.

“It is an ex­cit­ing time for in­line speed skat­ing glob­ally be­cause this year we will see for the first time in­line speed skat­ing in­cluded in the 2018 Youth Olympic Games pro­gram in Buenos Aires,” she said.

“There is a real pos­si­bil­ity that one Aus­tralian boy and girl may be suc­cess­ful in qual­i­fy­ing for a quota place after the 2018 World Cham­pi­onships in the Nether­lands.”

Mikayla said her goal was to achieve a per­sonal best at her first Na­tion­als.

“I stum­bled into the sport by ac­ci­dent two years ago when I went to the Mid­vale SpeedDome to try fig­ure skat­ing,” she said.

“No one was there so I gave speed skat­ing a go.

“It’s now the only sport I do and I’m re­ally ex­cited to be com­pet­ing and would re­ally like to medal in one of the events.”

Team man­ager Kylie Robert­son hoped the fledg­ling sport would grow now it was in­cluded in the Youth Olympics.

“Par­tic­i­pa­tion has re­mained stag­nant over the years and part of this is be­cause not many peo­ple have heard of the sport,” she said.

“Be­cause it hasn’t been recog­nised as an Olympic sport, this has held its growth back.”

The cham­pi­onships, with road, marathon and speed di­vi­sions, take place at Skate Cen­tral, Perth Air­port and Herb Gra­ham Recre­ation Cen­tre, Mirra­booka, Jan­uary 15- 21.

Pic­ture: Martin Ken­nealey d478122

Mikayla Smith in ac­tion.

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