Local figure skating club is competing nationally for the first time

NOW: Local figure skating club is competing nationally for the first time

SOUTH BEND,Ind.- The Irish Figure Skating Club is going on the road; they will head to the State Games in Michigan starting the first week of August.

It’s a competition for skaters from all 50 states. 11-year-old Elkhart native, Lauren White will be the flag bearer for the state of Indiana.

White has been skating for four years now and she says the NIBCO Water and Ice Park in Elkhart helped her find her passion.

“I probably wouldn’t have been as interested as I am now,” she says.

At this year’s competition, White tells ABC57 she will not only be the flag bearer, but will also perform three routines. “I am a little bit nervous, but very excited.”

Skating Director Michelle Riccio says the Irish Figure Skating Club members have qualified for the State Games of America and the most exciting part is that it’ll be their first time experiencing competition like this.

“This was the first year, there were a couple competitions in Michigan that the kids qualified for,” says Riccio. “It’s a pretty big deal for the kiddos, they’re really excited.”

These seven competing figure skaters tell ABC57 they practice almost ten hours a week to get ready for competition. They all say practice makes perfect, but it all has to come from the heart.

"I just feel like there’s magic in the air,” says Quinn Strick, one of the competitors. “And it’s just something amazing happening in the world.”

“If I am really tired before I come here, when I get on the ice it wakes me up right away and makes me want to do something,” says White.

Riccio says this sport goes beyond just the craft of figure skating, “There are so many life skills that these kids learn through figure skating and this is just one more of prepping and getting ready."

“It’s a good building block from them to see where they can go next,” she adds.

“It’s more of a unique sport that not many people do and it’s unique to me,” says Strick.

This group will be heading out to Michigan next Wednesday morning for the competition. After their performances are over they will know their scores and see where they rank.

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