Club celebrates season of success
The appearance of three club skaters at the World Roller Games in China has capped off a year of success and advancement for the Upper Hutt Roller Skating Club.
Emma Patrick, Katelyn Kennedy and Abigail Evans all represented their country in Nanjing at the games, a multi-discipline event held for the first time in September.
A city of more than 10 million, Nanjing is touted as the ‘‘World Capital of Roller Sports’’.
The three local skaters performed with distinction in big international fields.
Kennedy and Evans, both 17, competed in Junior events, with Kennedy finishing 14th in the Figures and Evans 20th in the Solo Dance. Emma Patrick, 25, took on the world in Freestyle competition and finished 32nd.
Kennedy, a Chilton St James student, was at her first world champs – a year of outstanding results earning her selection. She had success at the Australian national championships, taking out the Junior Figure event, and repeated that at the New Zealand championships.
Evans, from Upper Hutt College, had a first taste of full international competition last year when she was at the skating world champs in Italy
‘‘The last five weeks have been a whirlwind of travel and competing. It’s been an amazing experience and of course an honour to represent New Zealand,’’ she said.
She also competed at the nationals, winning gold in her event and the Junior Solo dance title.
In contrast to her teenage teammates, Patrick, at 25 years is a ‘‘veteran’’ in the sport. A skater since she she joined the Upper Hutt club as a five-year-old, she has competed in nine world championships.
Competing in Nanjing was exciting, both in taking part in an event of this scale and in experi- encing Chinese culture, the early childhood teacher said.
There were organisational problems, however, with Patrick being limited in training time, and even that having to be done outside.
‘‘It rained and I only really had 20 minutes preparation before taking the world floor,’’ she said.
Patrick trains up to three hours for five or six days a week. She has long been coached by the club’s Imelda Coleman and is also embarking on some coaching herself.
Earlier in the season nine Upper Hutt skaters were chosen for the Oceania Championships, with club contributing a third of the full national team.
Upper Hutt Roller Skating club members, from left, Emma Patrick, Abigail Evans, and Katelyn Kennedy. Right, Evans skating in China.