by Chris Tobin
Not many sportspeople compete at an international level and act as coach for a national team at the same time.
But Timaru speed skater Dale Christoffersen (27) will be taking on double duties when he attends the World Roller Games in Barcelona in July.
He will be representing New Zealand in senior men’s events at the games as well as acting as junior team coach.
It helps he has been skating since he was 11 and is possibly in the best form of his long career. He said his training, which involved three gym sessions a week and about five skating sessions, was going well.
“I’ll be hoping for a top 10 finish at Barcelona. I’ve done a lot of work focusing on speed.”
Christoffersen is being joined by two other Timaru speed skaters in the team – Charlotte Clarke (16), in the junior women, and Keaton Swindells (17), in the junior men.
Keaton’s mother, Christine Swindells, will also be travelling to Barcelona as team manager.
Keaton, a year 13 pupil at Timaru Boys’ High School, and Charlotte (16), who is in year 12 at Roncalli College, are excited at gaining selection.
national and Oceania championships with success, they recognise the world championships will be a step up.
“My goals are to gain experience and get as high a placing as possible,” Charlotte said.
She is skating six days a week at present and juggling training with schoolwork.
Three weeks before the world championships begin, Christoffersen, Keaton and another New Zealand junior representative, Hadley Beech, of Wellington, will travel to Italy to train in Venice on the same type of track they will encounter in Barcelona.
At Easter, all three Timaru skaters will travel to Brisbane for the Oceania championships, where Christoffersen will be coaching as well as competing.