Artistic roller skating team will go fast for dancing days

WHEN the skates are on, their story is centred on the William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.

But when the shoes with wheels slip off, it's about their troupe of 12 who are set to become the first small show-group skating team to compete for Australia at the Artistic Roller Skating World Championships.

Led by coaches Esther Ambrus and Nicole Wilkes, the Penrith Skatel-based Team Platinum will represent the nation this month at Trusts Stadium Arena in Auckland.

"It's quite exciting and historical for us to present this team to the world championships," Ms Ambrus said.

"As a country we haven't entered in this event before. We just haven't been able to get a team out there. But after we skated at the state champs and scored quite well, word got around the skating community that the team was quite good.

"We had to skate at the national championships and score the required mark and when people saw us skate, they said 'wow'. It was really something and they turned a few heads."

Ms Ambrus said artistic roller skating was "a little bit like synchronised swimming — but not. They skate, do various formations without holding on and have to do choreography to music and tell the story."

She said Team Platinum's goal at the championships was to produce a personal-best score, a score above 8.5, in a clean skate.

"It's going to be interesting. The European teams are very strong but having a coach from Europe [Ms Wilkes] gives us a little bit of an advantage," she said.

"We know we're not going to be right up the top but hopefully somewhere in the middle.

"The skaters are all quite good individuals but to put them as a group is really fantastic and to see them work as one is exciting to watch."

Among Team Platinum's talent is 14-year-old Robert Karp, the national intermediate men's free skating champion.

Team Platinum seek sponsorship from local individuals or businesses to help fund their trip.

"To go as a team and open the skaters eyes to the world skating stage at a high level is a wonderful opportunity," Ms Ambrus said.

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