Zariba get help from synchronised figure skating world champion

Zariba with Victoria Smith.
Zariba with Victoria Smith.

An Aberdeen figure skating team have benefited from a masterclass camp from a former world champion.

Zariba were coached by Canadian synchro world championship-winner Victoria Smith in the Granite City.

The north-east team, who are the Scottish champions and three-time British champions, last competed in the world championships in 2017.

Now coach Sara Patterson wants to push her team back to the top.

Patterson said: “After the end of the season I really wanted to push my team.

“I took to social media to find people to help.

“I got in contact via Instagram with Victoria and she was keen to come over and help.

“She had strong links to Aberdeen – her granny is a born and bred Aberdonian.”

When Patterson was asked what the girls got out of the camp, she said: “It was a different world from what we are used to.

“We don’t usually get much time on the ice but for the whole camp we trained like an elite team would.

“The girls relished the opportunity and we were all delighted to have someone of such high calibre to help the team.”

Victoria coaches the team.

She hopes the Zariba synchronised skaters now have the belief that they can be a success next season and make it back on to the world stage by triumphing at the British Championships.

Patterson added: “We won’t be medalists (at worlds) due to different circumstances such as funding, facilities and politics.

“However, as a team we want to make the worlds again and be on the big stage.

“The camp was a huge help in lifting the girls’ confidence and we believe and know that we can make it back to the world championships again.”

The camp with Smith didn’t come cheap, but Patterson revealed the girls helped bring in funds at an event on May 26.

She said: “Costs were already spiralling for the next season and the fundraiser definitely helped towards paying for the camp with Victoria.

“The evening of the fundraiser was fantastic with a disco and all sorts of mini games such as raffles and a tombola.

“All the girls organised this and ran the night themselves, from doing the face painting to running the disco.”

Zariba and Patterson’s other teams are now firmly set on being as ready for the new campaign as they possibly can be. She said: “All of our teams, from adults to a new little team with skaters as young as seven, have all started to learn their new routines.

“Our first competition will be in November in London at Alexandra Palace.”

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