Hometown party

Matt Veno
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Colchester figure skaters feed off of family, friends at Starskate provincials

Hometown party

TRURO - For many members of the Truro and Tatamagouche figure skating clubs, the weekend's 2010 Nova Scotia Starskate Championships won't be a competition they'll soon forget.
Although they posted strong results, that's not the reason why it'll stick out in their minds. It's because they got to skate on their home ice in competition for the first time.
"It felt really good," said Jessica Bartlett of stepping out on the ice. "Because a lot of my friends and family and people I know in town were there to support me and it gives you an extra boost of confidence."
The event attracted 256 skaters, along with their families and coaches, from across the province. The competition, the first provincial event hosted by the Truro club in more than 10 years, started Friday and wrapped up yesterday at Colchester Legion Stadium.
Bartlett, a 14-year-old Bible Hill resident, said having extra eyes on her gave her a mix of emotions.
"I was a little bit nervous but it gave me a boost of adrenaline too," she said.
It showed in the skaters' results. The club collected five medals including a pair of gold. Bartlett claimed one in her preliminary long program while Matthew Allen had the other in pre introductory interpretive. That's just where they expected to be.
"We're very happy with those results," said Brookfield's Alicia MacMillan, who nabbed silver in the junior bronze long program.
"I knew if I skated a clean program that's where I would be."
Both skaters agreed knowing there would be more friends and family watching them on the weekend pushed them to try harder in training for the event.
"I wanted to be at my best so they could see me do really well," MacMillan said.
Coach Annette Hiltz could see the excitement of having an event at home on her skaters' faces all weekend and said hosting the competition has brought her skaters closer together in what is largely an individual sport.
"They really came together this weekend," Hiltz said. "Typically they don't get to see much of each other at competitions but this weekend they all hung out together and cheered each other on from the stands."
Hiltz said that's the reason why she and other volunteers took on organizing the event, even though it put plenty of extra tasks on their plates.
"It was just nice to do this for them," she said.
It just may happen again in the near future. Carolyn Bartlett, the chair of the organizing committee, said the event ran so smoothly and was such a success, that hosting events is something they're looking at doing more often.
"We'll certainly do it again," she said. "It's a lot of work but it's very enjoyable and fulfilling."

sports@trurodaily.com

Geographic location: Colchester, Tatamagouche, Bible Hill

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