Massive skating season in store

By Jared Smith

The Wanganui Rollerskating Club are tightening their toe stoppers and testing their wheel nuts ahead of the start of a massive season of events in March.

The club will host the combined East and West Central regional championships at Jubilee Stadium, along with the Joan Alexander Precision Challenge at the same time.

Precision rollerskating is the team aspect of the sport involving choreographed movements and routines.

The key to earn top marks is for the group to get their footwork and turns totally in-sync so no individual stands out.

Club secretary Krystine Davies said around 70 skaters could attend the two events, coming from New Plymouth and then through to Hastings and Wellington.

"It's a good programme, it will go all day and into the night," she said.

The two-day event is the first major meeting of the season as Wanganui will also host the area championships in July and then the national championships in October.

These regional championships are open to competitors across the lower North Island while the precision challenge invites teams from across New Zealand.

Wanganui's flag will be flown by seven competitors in the regionals, while a new precision team Deja Vu are entering together for the first time.

Of the seven-girl team only members Emily Smith and Kasey Reyland have experience in precision skating, having been part of a Palmerston North-based squad.

The group is trained by Hastings coach Eileen Mills, who travels over to run their sessions, as Deja Vu gave their first demonstration out of competition at the Wanganui Club Championships in December.

"They've been training really hard, four to five times a week, to get it up and running," said Davies.

The regional championships is the only major competition ahead of the 2013 Artistic Roller Skating Oceania Championships in Sydney this April.

Many of the country's better performers are therefore expected to be in Wanganui to test themselves in front of the judges.

The action will vary from beginners through to the international-level skaters.

Disciplines include freeskating jumps, spins and footwork to music and figures, where skaters trace patterns marked by lines on the floor and need extreme control.

There will also be solo dance, basically like a waltz and tango on skates, and dance pairs.

Davies said roller skating has gone through another surge in popularity in Wanganui in the past 18 months, with 200 club members now registered.

Davies said anyone interested in the sport is welcome to come have a look and sign up for the club.

The regionals are open to the public and free of charge on Saturday and Sunday, March 2-3.


The Deja Vu team is

Sara Gorringe, Kasey Reyland, Sharon-Rose Riddell, Emily Smith, Rachael Stratford, Kaci Sturzaker and Julia van Niekerk.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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