Sport

Skater excited by chance to compete against Oceania’s elite

Marlborough speed skater Erin Green goes head-to-head with Oceania’s best in Brisbane this week.

Erin, who has just turned 13, will don the silver fern for the second time at the Oceania championships, having first represented her country at the 2018 champs in Timaru.

Last year she skated her way into two finals and is hoping to improve on that effort this time around.

Her mother and long-time coach, Roxanne Green, feels Erin can make her presence felt at the Brisbane event which ran from April 19-24.

“She is looking really good at the moment, better than she ever has thanks to the help of a young coach who has moved to Blenheim from Timaru.

“Jazmyn McAuley has helped improve Erin’s technique, which is a work in progress,” Roxanne says.

While sprint racing has been Erin’s specialty in the past, she is venturing into the endurance field. She will skate in the cadets grade in Brisbane, racing over short (300m time trial) and long (1000m) sprint distances, plus take on the 21km half marathon.

After being crowned national champion in the juvenile road and flat track class at the 2018 New Zealand champs, Erin stepped up to the junior (12-15) grade at the 2019 champs. Although she finished in the middle of the pack against older skaters, often with much more experience, it was all good preparation for Brisbane.

Roxanne said that while her daughter was nervous, she thrived on competition.

“She doesn’t get hyped about anything … she gets on the line and just does her thing.”

The Blenheim Roller Skating Club raised money to help fund Erin’s trip by staging a roller disco, funds from which paid for her racing wheels.

With about 40 members, the club has been very supportive, Erin said.

Although she relishes the friendships and the social side of racing it is whirring around a track that gives her a real sense of achievement.

“When I race, I just focus on being fast,” she added.

Erin and Roxanne, who is one of the team managers, departed alongside the 31-strong NZ team for Australia on Thursday.

For further information about the Blenheim Roller Skating Club and Erin’s progress visit facebook.com and search under the club’s name.

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