Sk8house co-owners Kevin and Bernadine, competing as a couple as they have been doing for six years, took out the national gold medal for Masters Compulsory Dance Pairs among a very tough seasoned field of couples. This year was their second national title following their 2016 win, having just missed out in 2017 after they placed second. Coached by Candace, the husband and wife team have perfected their performance.
“We love dancing together. It’s a great chance to bond. We make sure we dance together in time and focus on our precision as a couple,” said Bernadine. “You’re judged on the technical merit as well as the flow of your movements. Winning the gold medal twice has been a huge achievement for us.”
Brittany Hammond, the daughter of Sk8house’s other co-owner, Vanessa Hammond, competed for the first time in the seniors international level, finishing in a very creditable sixth place. Brittany has a long history of competing at national and international level in NZ and the US. The other Sk8house skaters who competed were Bethany Johnson and Carissa Domrow, who placed second in their divisions, and Keischa Thorn, who placed 16th in hers. All in all, it was an outstanding effort by the six skaters.
“Kevin started as a young boy, where he would freeskate alone or with his sister. He was the British champion but stopped for 20 years before taking it up again after a kids’ skating party,” said Bernadine. “He’s improved his fitness and he hasn’t looked back since. Then we bought the rink and our kids and myself caught the skating bug. It’s helped my co-ordination so much; I used to call myself Calamity Jane!”
Yasmin is following in her dad’s footsteps and has previously won national titles two years in a row in the freeskating category; she collected a silver medal at the Oceania competition in 2016 and was fourth in the Pan Pacific titles earlier that year. She now competitively speed skates with her brother, Harry, who has been competing since he was six years old as well as at national and Oceania competitions for the past few years, winning gold and silver.
Visit Sk8house in Carrum Downs to see what all of the fuss is about.