Ice Sports Southland Club skaters took part in the first figure skating competition of the season at the Gore rink on Sunday.

About 55 skaters from throughout the South Island travelled to take part in the event.

Club figure skating coach Corina Ormston said she had eight pupils taking part in the championships.

‘‘It’s good for [the pupils] because most of them have never done a competition before, they’re so new.’’

Nice ice . . . Ice Sports Southland skater Emilia Peters (15) competes in the pre-elementary category at the club’s championships on Sunday. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON

She was pleased with the performance of her skaters, who were entered in the beginning grades of the competition. ‘‘They all did really well. ‘‘They remembered their programmes, and that is all I really ask, and did their best.’’ The other clubs would also hold championships.

In July, the Otago Southland championships would be held in Gore. ‘‘Most of the higher level skaters will be preparing for nationals usually at the end of the year.’’

In November last year, the ice rink was closed for maintenance to thaw the permafrost under it. It reopened in March.