NZ honours for young skater

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Dunedin ice-skater Zara Anthony-Whigham has had a very successful month.
– I was competing against girls at least three years older than me. I am the youngest
by quite a bit –
The St Hilda’s Collegiate School pupil competed in the 2016 New Zealand Ice Figure Skating Championships in Christchurch where she gained a handful of qualifications.
She was named in the New Zealand international team for a second year, the New Zealand development squad and has qualified to represent New Zealand at the 2016 Australian Figure Skating Championships for a fifth consecutive year.
She was the only Dunedin iceskater to be named in the New Zealand international team, which meant she could choose from a range of international events to attend, she said.
She had not been expecting to make the team but was pleased she had.
‘‘I was hoping to be able to do it again.’’
This was the first season she has competed in the junior grade, having moved up from novice grade earlier this year.
‘‘I was competing against girls at least three years older than me. I am the youngest by quite a bit.’’
She came third and was competing against girls who had more experience and had competed overseas, she said.
‘‘Some people did not expect me to even qualify for nationals.’’
She performed two programmes at the nationals, a short programme and a free programme.
While both programmes had jumps and spins, the short was upbeat and the free was more ‘‘flowy’’, she said.
‘‘I prefer the short because it is faster.’’
With a new coach, New Zealand figure skater Ricky Cockerill, and a successful national championship, Anthony-Whigham is focusing on the rest of the season.
‘‘I’m looking forward to learning and consolidating some new skills my new coach is going to help me with.’’
The 2016 New Zealand Ice Figure Skating Championships were held on October 11-14.