Matthew Samuels from Summer Greens is set to compete against the world’s best figure skaters this week.
This 18-year-old talent will take on the best of the best in the International Skating Union (ISU) World Junior Figure Skating Championships in Taipei City, Chinese Taipei, from today (Wednesday) until Sunday.
Matthew is the current South African national junior men’s champion and will be participating in this elite competition for junior skaters (aged 13 to 19), together with 44 other male solo skaters from around the world.
In this competition, the skaters skate two programmes: All skaters skate their short programmes, while only the top 25 will go on to skate their longer free programmes.
Qualifying for this competition has been a long and challenging journey – one on which Matthew embarked more than 10 years ago. He has had to compete in many competitions, both nationally and internationally, along the way achieving the scores needed to progress to the next level. To be selected for the World Junior Championships, Matthew had to achieve certain scores in international competitions, which he managed to do in Estonia last year and in Abu Dhabi in January this year.
Chairman of SAFSA-WP, Dawn van der Riet, says: “The skating fraternity is very proud of Matthew’s achievements, as he has worked hard to get here. His example will be followed by all our aspiring skaters, and we have many younger skaters who we hope will get to this level in the future. Matthew coaches many of them, giving back to skating what he has learnt over the years.”