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Maidstone Roller Dance Club bounce back from Covid pandemic with big medal haul

Maidstone Roller Dance Club brought home the medals from their first competition since the Covid pandemic.

They won 10 gold, five silver and seven bronze medals at the FARS competition in Kettering, making it one of their most successful-ever events.

Success for Maidstone Roller Dance Club in Kettering
Success for Maidstone Roller Dance Club in Kettering

It’s been a tough time for the club who were locked out of their YMCA base and forced to train in car parks after roller dance was classified as leisure rather than sport.

Events were cancelled, which was a huge disappointment to British champions Oliver and Zac Martin, who’d been selected to compete for Great Britain in the World Cup in Portugal, Italy and Germany.

The club were briefly allowed to return to the YMCA in August before conducting online lessons after it became too cold to train outside over the winter lockdown.

Maidstone finally got their under-18 skaters back in the hall in April, with the rest of the club following in May.

Two months later they were off to Kettering where Oliver Martin, Zac Martin, Ella Donoghue, Laura Donoghue, Hayley Paterson, Lucy Aves, Isabelle Jarvis, Talya Celik, Katy Bray and Anna Slokenburga collected gold.

Head coach Ann Odhams said: “The competition went so well - we were absolutely thrilled.

“Everyone had worked hard but you just don’t know how it’s going to go until you get there and see how you compare to other clubs.

Maidstone Roller Dance Club have faced challenges during the pandemic
Maidstone Roller Dance Club have faced challenges during the pandemic

“It turned out to be one of our best results for years, everyone did well across all ages and standards, and it would be lovely to see them get the recognition they deserve.

“We haven’t had it easy during the pandemic but we’re back and we’re still doing well, despite the lack of training.”

Odhams’ next step is to rebuild the membership which inevitably suffered.

She said: “Now restrictions have been lifted, we’d like to get the numbers up.

“We’re an inclusive club, we welcome boys and girls of all ages. With the success of Oliver and Zac, we hope that will encourage more boys to take up the sport.”

Lessons for beginners take place from 5-6pm on Saturdays at the YMCA. To register an interest, email info@mrdc.uk.

Read more: The latest sports news in Kent

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