Ice skating team ‘right up there’

Cool customers . . . Dunedin Ice Skating Club members (from left) Rosie Maley, assistant captain Isabelle Dalley, Rachael Jannink, Emily Millar-Coote, Abby Grimaldi, captain Amelie Henderson, Aimee Pickford, Tallulah Wilson-Brown, Jazelle McCormick, Symone Keller and (non-travelling reserve) Eleanor Blacker line up before competing in the Sydney Synchronised Festival. PHOTO: JESSICA WILSON

A synchronised ice skating team has returned from an international competition with “new-found motivation”.

For the first time in about eight years, Dunedin Ice Skating Club sent a team of 10 skaters to the Sydney Synchronised Festival, the largest synchronised competition in Oceania.

They competed in the two-day competition on September 15 and 16.

Coach Megan Kliegl said it was an “awesome opportunity” for the skaters to test their skills and watch other teams perform.

“They represented Dunedin Ice Skating Club so beautifully,”

The team had an unofficial practice at the rink on Friday afternoon before their official practice, which was watched by judges and officials, on Saturday morning.

On Saturday afternoon they performed their routine in front of about 400 people – the largest crowd they had performed to.

Kliegl said she was proud of the team, which received positive feedback from the judges who said their skating and performance skills were “right up there” with the Australian teams in their grade.

“They have made a name for themselves.

“They have come back with this new-found motivation and that’s so great.”

Kliegl said the skaters enjoyed watching other teams, particularly the Australian senior team, Team Unity, which competed in the 2018 world championships in April.

“I just think it was really good for them to see those senior teams. They were just in absolute awe of them.

“It’s made them come back ready to go.”

The skaters took part in a skills course, and Kliegl and fellow coach Grant Howie participated in a coach-oriented seminar.

She said it was obvious there was a “real push” to get synchronised skating into the Winter Olympics.

Howie moved to Bristol after the competition, after receiving his PhD.