Holly Fitzpatrick is shown in this undated photo. — Submitted photo
Holly Fitzpatrick has a year of experience under her belt, so she’s prepared to give it her best shot in Halifax today.
Fitzpatrick, a 12-year-old member of the Deer Lake Skating Club, is a member of the Skate Newfoundland and Labrador delegation participating in the 2014 Skate Atlantica.
Fitzpatrick, daughter of Deer Lake’s Dale and Patty Fitzpatrick, placed fifth in her age group in her debut last year.
“The overall experience was just amazing,” Fitzpatrick said from Halifax earlier in the week. “Getting to meet new people and seeing where I placed in Atlantic Canada it was just amazing.”
Fitzpatrick knows full well this time around that the field will be tough, but she’s feeling a lot more confident than she did a year ago when she had no idea what would be awaiting her at a higher level of skating.
“I feel really good going into this one,” she said. “I picked up my speed and I just feel good about the way I’m skating.”
Winning a gold medal at the provincial Winter Games in Clarenville earlier this year was also a highlight of her skating season, but now she wants to end it on a strong note with a solid effort.
“I just want to have a nice clean skate, smile and be happy when I am finished,” she said.
She figures her grouping will have around 20 skaters vying for top spot so she has set realistic goals heading into her debut.
“My goal is 12th, but I think I’m much capable of doing better than that,” she said.
She’s looking forward to another venture off the island and feels good about being part of a provincial group trying to turn heads on the mainland.
But, having a fellow skater from Deer Lake, 13-year-old Emily Goobie, along for the journey should make it that much more enjoyable.
“Last year it was nice, but this year having a friend going it’s even better,” she said.
As for lessons learned, she knew she had to work hard to improve her skillset if she wanted to move up the ladder this year against the best in her age group.
“I learned that I have to work harder,” she said.
She’s more than willing to do her talking on the ice and hope for the best.