Hours of weekly practise and focus paid off for a young Bala teen who’s got her eyes on the Olympics.
Nadia Dewasha, a Bala teen, is preparing to compete at the Skate Canada Challenge in Regina this winter following her win at the Northern Ontario Sectional Championships. (Submitted photo)
Photo by Jennifer Bowman
Nadia Dewasha, a 13-year-old Bala teen, wowed the judges with her golden figure skating performance at the Skate Canada Northern Ontario Sectional Championships in Sudbury on Oct. 27.
Nadia’s mom, Jody Dewasha said she watched as her daughter skated an “exceptional” short program and a not-so-exceptional long program.
“It was very nail-biting through her long program,” she said.
Nadia said she was overwhelmed at the competition, but said she expected to win “a little bit.”
That win is taking her to the Skate Canada Challenge in December.
Nadia began skating at three years old and entered her first competition three weeks shy of her fourth birthday. When she was about seven, she began to train in Barrie. Now, at 13, she has a coach in Bala as well as one in Barrie and trains between one and a half to three and a half hours a day, five days a week. She has two main coaches, a stroking coach, a spin coach and two choreographers.
Two days a week she drives down to Barrie to train, once to Humphrey, and twice she trains in Bala. Some days she trains twice a day. How long she trains depends on which coach she’s working with.
With all that training, Nadia said she still loves skating.
“When it comes to figure skating, my dreams in the future will be performing at the Olympics like my idols,” she said.
The tension of the competitions has never left her mom; Jody said all the competitions are nerve-wracking.
“Obviously this is a bigger deal to have won this, but they’re just as nerve-wracking no matter what they are,” she said.
She said it’s not a fear of her daughter being injured and winning is not everything, “but (it’s) when your kid is out there and everyone is staring at them, they’re all by themselves and they fall.”
Despite that, in all of Nadia’s figure-skating years, Dewasha has only missed one competition.
“I had to start working to pay for these figure-skating bills, and I was working and couldn’t get off,” she said.
Figure skating at Nadia’s level costs about $16,000 a year, making the family very thankful for the $6,000 she received in grants this year.
Nadia has competed in the northern sectionals before, but this was her first year in the pre-novice section. The win means next year she will be moving up to the novice category and competing against a slightly older crowd.
Andrea Smith, media relations co-ordinator of the Bala and Area Figure Skating Club, has watched Nadia grow up at the arena and travelled to Sudbury to watch her compete.
“Don’t think that when we were sitting in the stands up there and they were announcing her name that we didn’t get just a little shiver when they said ‘representing the Bala and Area Figure Skating Club,’” Smith said.
At the beginning of December Nadia will be heading to Regina to skate in the Skate Canada Challenge. There she will compete against 51 other skaters who are 16 years old or younger.
Despite her outstanding performance in Sudbury, Nadia retains a humble attitude.
“As my coaches tell me, there’s always someone out there who’s better than me,” she said.
This year, she’s planning to skate her best and try her hardest to see where it takes her.
“It doesn’t really matter what place I come in,” she said. “Sort of just going for the experience in Regina as my first national event.”