Ice teens flying Queenstown flag

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Youngsters Bethany Sturt and Chris Boyd will represent the resort at the inaugural Queens­town Invitational Ice Figure Skating Championships at the weekend.

Organisers hope the event, being held at the Fun Centre in Queenstown Gardens on Saturday and Sunday, will become an annual affair after attracting 35 other competitors from Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin and Gore.

Wakatipu High pupil Bethany, 13, will skate in the Juvenile Ladies section and 16-year-old Chris, a pupil at Christ’s College in Christchurch, does battle in the Junior Men.

“Bethany has learned a whole new programme in just six weeks because unlike most other parts of the country, the Queenstown ice rink is closed over part of the summer,” her mum Sheralyn says.

“But she can’t wait to show what she can do in front of a home crowd.”

The contest is an ideal warm-up for the two local club members, who travel to the Otago-Southland Championships in Dunedin at the end of next month.

Chris – whose mother Gill Boyd is organiser of the new Queenstown champs – will also turn out at the Hollins Trophy in Sydney on June 5-8.

“The Queenstown Invitational will hopefully now establish itself as the earliest major figure skating competition of the season in the South Island,” Chris says.