Success at the World Ice Skating Championship this week in France has come at a hefty price for Ireland’s most successful figure skater.
Dublin’s Clara Peters advanced from the free skating preliminary round at Nice’s Palais des Expositions to secure a spot alongside the planet’s top 30 competitors this afternoon. But progression is set to leave a sizeable dent in her finances.
"I receive no funding whatsoever. Because I have made it into the top 30 in the worlds, my coach and I have had to book extra accommodation and have had to change our airline tickets. So making the next stage of the worlds could cost us a couple of thousand euro.
"Of the 30 other girls I will be skating against, I’d guess that between 25 to 28 of them are receiving funding from sports councils or federations.
"In my case all the money is coming from my family. Naturally it is a situation I would like to see changed and quickly. Hopefully making the top 30 in a world championship will help that happen."
The Terenure native interpreted Russian composer Sergei Rachmaninov’s "Rhapsody On A Theme of Paganini" in the preliminary competition with the top 12 of 33 progressing. She hit all of her planned elements, including two double axel jumps and a Level 4 combination spin. Her score of 73.96 points was a new personal best.
"This is a huge deal. Last year I finished in the high 20s in the prelims, this year I came 11th, which gets me into the top 30 in the finals. To finish 11th is amazing. In a word: ‘Wow!’ It was like studying for an exam and going in expecting to get about 60%. Instead I got 90%.
"All the hard work has paid off. I spent hours and hours in training doing the programme over and over again.
"It is one thing to achieve your targets and ambition in practice but it is a different scenario in competition."
Peters is in action again today.