RECORD BREAKING ICE SKATERS
Ski suits help club achieve sporting goals
Canterbury Alpine Ice Skating Club has achieved extraordinary results nationally and internationally, with members breaking several records at the Australian Championships held in Sydney on 5 and 6 October 2012, and the NZ Championships during September.
Club member Chris Jarden is the New Zealand Junior Men’s Champion, Lucy Burridge is both the New Zealand and Australian Junior Ladies Champion, Ethan De Rose is the New Zealand Juvenile Boys’ Champion and Courtney Coburn is the Australian Sub Junior Ladies Champion.
Club member Caitlin Phillips had a very successful outing at both competitions, becoming the New Zealand Sub Junior Ladies Champion and breaking two New Zealand and two Open New Zealand records in the process. She also won the title of Australian Midget Girls Champion and broke two of her own Australian Open Records (the 222m race and the 333m race).
Ice speed skating is an unusual, yet popular sport, and the club supports all skaters from novice level development to international racing elite. During the past two years, the club has held 48 New Zealand and Australian records. The club’s goal is to enroll as many skaters as possible to retain its solid base. Part of doing this is keeping membership costs as affordable as possible.
The club was fortunate to receive a $4,000 grant from New Zealand Community Trust (NZCT) earlier this year, which allowed it to purchase 10 new racing suits in preparation for these big competitions. Racing suits are compulsory for all competitors and have in-built protective gear for all the vital organs – but at $400 each, they’re not cheap to buy.
Pam Jackson, Canterbury Ice Skating Club Treasurer, says the grant has been a great help. She says that since the devastating Canterbury earthquakes the community of Christchurch has found it extremely difficult to provide extra financial help to their children who are passionately involved in this sport.
“Parents are trying to do the best for their children,” says Ms Jackson. “But everyone is exhausted and are just trying to attend to essential things throughout the day.
“The NZCT funding has enabled the Canterbury Alpine Ice Skating Club to lessen its financial worries following a disastrous few years, and it gives a shining hope for the future of this unique sport and our dedicated athletes,” she says.
Stephen Boock, chair of the Canterbury NZCT Regional Advisory Committee, says the trust was keen to help the club achieve its competitive goals.
“NZCT is one of the largest funders of amateur sport in New Zealand,” says Mr Boock. “We know how important sport is to a community, but we also appreciate how difficult it can be raising funds for specialty gear like these racing suits.
“With the additional pressure most Cantabs are under at the moment, NZCT is pleased to be able to help out,” he says. “Our community funding model ensures funds raised at NZCT gaming venues are returned to the areas where the funds are generated.”