HPAP Blog

Training and Competing in Figure Skating

Friday, February 28, 2020

My name is Chloe, I’m 16 years old and I’ve been a figure skater for eight years now. As well as being an individual figure skater, I am also primarily a synchronised skater, meaning that I skate with a team. My team is called ‘Adelaide Ice Magic’, or ‘AIM’ for short, and I have been skating with this team for almost seven years, slowly moving up the ranks. My team and I currently rank 3rd in Australia in our division, which is the second highest. I train for approximately 14 hours per week both on and off the ice, not including nightly stretching sessions to improve my flexibility. On ice training includes lots of program work (doing our routines multiple times, in order to improve different aspects each time), as well as lots of skills and speed training. Off ice training includes a lot of fitness, as well as off ice program work (improving our routines off the ice, in order to further improve them on the ice). Additionally, off ice training includes attending a weekly ballet class for an hour and a half, which helps me improve my posture and flexibility, which in then improves my skating abilities. 

At the end of January this year, my skating team and I competed at the Hevelius Cup Competition, held in Gdansk, Poland. In Poland, we trained more than once a day for six days leading up to the competition, as well as going sightseeing and doing many fun team bonding activities. All of our hard work payed off, as we ended up coming home with a gold medal, as well as some amazing memories and friendships that will last a lifetime. I’m currently training for an individual competition in March, and then the synchronised skating season starts again.

Chloe Alfrey
Year 11 Student

The world of climbing

Friday, February 21, 2020

After being introduced to the world of climbing as part of the Woodcroft College Outdoor Education and Future Leaders’ Programs, I joined Vertical Reality Climbing Youth Squad in February 2018.

Although I focus my climbing efforts on top rope and lead climbing, I also participate in bouldering and have recently trained in speed climbing. Top rope and lead climbing are both rope-based climbs, whereas bouldering is typically up to three meters without rope but with a crash pad. This style of climbing requires more dynamic and explosive movements. Speed climbing is a pre-set certified route which is consistent worldwide.

My first competition was a Pump Fest at Adelaide Bouldering Club (ABC) on 30 June, 2018. This competition was based on a climbers eight best climbs over a time period and was a game changer for me. I entered this competition with the main aim to manage my competition mindset and was excited to place second in my age bracket, Male Youth A.

On 18 August I participated in the State Youth Bouldering Competition and struggled during this event as I focused on the importance of placing to qualify for Nationals, rather than focusing on the climb in front of me. However, I was still able to come third gaining my qualification for the Australian Climbing Youth Nationals in May 2020.

After qualifying for Nationals, I was able to reset my mindset and focus back on my climbing. My last competition of the year was another pump fest held at ABC on 22 September where I placed third. Despite this not being my highest achievement to date, I had a great competition as my mindset was the best it had been. I really enjoyed the event and was really impressed with my ability to stay focused and positive in this environment. I really enjoyed the event, and this solidified my love of the sport.

Throughout the Summer holidays I spent many hours honing my technique and completed hundreds of hours of both indoor and outdoor climbing. It was during this time that I also completed a weeklong intensive climbing experience in Victoria and was exposed to my first Speed Climb, which is one of the disciplines, in addition to lead climbing and bouldering, that is expected at Nationals.

However, my most significant achievement to date was being awarded the Austin Grabkowski Award for Most Improved South Australian Climber 2019.

I love to climb, and I aspire to include in my work life moving forwards.

Mathew Gull
Year 12

Winning the Bay Sheffield

Tuesday, February 04, 2020


At the end of 2019, I was really excited to be given the opportunity to compete in the South Australian pro-running event, Bay Sheffield. Running in the 70m Open Women’s and having a reasonable handicap, I was fortunate to win the heats, the semi finals and then the final race. It certainly was a shock for me and I'm still coming to terms with it.

I really appreciated running with such high calibre athletes, including an Olympian.

The Bay Sheffield win has inspired me to continue my training this year, as well as always do my best.

The preparation for this event varied from 5 to 6 training sessions a week including; weights, endurance sessions, fartlek, sprints and block work, which really seemed to pay off in the long run.

I hope to now compete in multiple Surf Life Saving Competitions including the Australian Super Surf League, State Titles and Nationals in Queensland.

Cloe Griffiths
Year 12