The sport of Artistic Roller Skating is not well known outside of the competitors and their families however for six-time national figures champion and Oceania medallist Caitlyn Peck, it is her world, and now she is on her way to conquer it.
Caitlyn was selected as an Oceania wildcard entry for the 2022 Artistic Skating World Cup finals in Gottingen, Germany this month to represent Australia and Logan.
Born in Logan Hospital and living in the same house in Waterford since birth, the now 18-year-old took to the rink in 2012 and competed in her first event in 2013. Two years later and Caitlyn was already at a national level.
Growing up in the roller-skating world, because both parents were coaches, it was an easy choice for Caitlyn to give it a go.
Caitlyn spends six days a week training for up to five hours at a time while also fitting in working a casual job and university where she is completing a Bachelor of Clinical Exercise Physiology.
Many of her hour’s training are spent at the Mount Warren Indoor Sports Centre where staff have come to know Caitlyn and her parents Greg and Tammy very well.
“Having my parents as my coaches has its advantages and disadvantages,” said Caitlyn.
“I don’t think I’d be the same skater I am today if it wasn’t for my parents, and I think they have shaped me as an individual as well as a skater.”
Caitlyn trains and competes in two disciplines within the sport, figures and dance.
“Figures is where you trace a line and you do complicated turns on the lines and dance is kind of like what you see in ice skating, so I do two routines and I keep practicing those over and over again to music.”
One advantage Caitlyn has included in her training schedule is a ballroom dance coach to help her dance skating. Tony Haligowski who grew up in the Springwood area, has been creating routines and working with Caitlyn to bring some extra life to her performance.
To get selected as the wildcard, there was a call out for skaters across the Oceania region who wanted to attend to submit their expression of interest. After it was narrowed down from those numbers by selectors, three names were left, one skater from New Zealand and two from Australia, one being Caitlyn.
To be named the wildcard, selectors went on previous skates and Caitlyn had the highest technical mark and was chosen to represent Australia.
Following on from the Artistic Skating World Cup in Germany, Caitlyn will be heading to the World Championships in Argentina to again represent Australia.
“I am looking forward to Germany but also looking froward to Argentina as well as it is one of my favourite disciplines, figures.
“I really want to go and represent Australia in figures and show the world that we can still do figures here in Australia,” Caitlyn laughed.
Due to the pandemic, there has been little to no skating since 2020 until this year. For that time, Caitlyn has been training continually wherever she could as most centres, including Mt Warren Park, were shut down.
“For me I enjoy achieving something that is not really common for most people.
“You tell someone that I do artistic roller skating and most people ask what’s that, and I describe it as ballroom dancing on wheels or ice skating on wheels.
“When you get an element in skating, like a jump or a spin or difficult footwork sequence and you perform it well, it drives something in me and I feel proud of myself and it’s a good feeling for me, especially in figures which is why I enjoy it the most as it takes a lot of mental and physical strength to do that discipline well so that’s why I enjoy it.”