Club cel­e­brates sea­son of suc­cess

Upper Hutt Leader - - SPORT - COLIN WIL­LIAMS

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.

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