Harrison Bain - NZIFSA Scholarship

Harrison Bain and Christopher Dean

2018 NZ Junior Champion, 1st / 5 Hollins Trophy 2019, Sydney, 5th place Asian Open 2017.  Harrison will be representing New Zealand at the ISU JGP Lake Placid, New York, USA, 28-31 August 2019.   He will be attending the JGP together with fellow skater, Dani Gebser and coach Bess Cao.  

You can follow him and other New Zealand skaters on YouTube

Harrison, pictured above with Ice Dancer Christopher Dean was the recipient of one of the NZIFSA Scholarship’s and used his money to go over Colorado Springs, US for some training, this is what he had to say:

"I have had time to reflect on the 4 weeks in Colorado Springs and can say it was a truly memorable experience. I was lucky enough to travel with Richard Laidlaw and his skating crew from Australia. We stayed as a group of 9 in an Air BNB home about ten minutes form the Broadmore World Arena, which is home to the USA Olympic Ice Figure Skating Team. The best coaches are available at the Broadmoor Rink and I was fortunate to have instruction from the best.

I will talk you through how the operation works. Ice time is purchased two weeks in advance. essons with coaches are kind of like a lucky dip. Coaches will see you in the sessions and call you over. Ben Augusto and Catherine Hill follow a schedule, but these seem to be the only ones. The first two weeks we were there, majority of the high-profile USA skaters were having time off after worlds. So, access to the top coaches was made easier. I managed to get lessons with Tom Zakrajsek expert coach in Jumps and found this was of huge benefit. Tom worked on my entry and air position technique. Tammy Gamble also works on Jumps and she was fantastic sharing her knowledge. Eric Scholtz (Harness Coach), Kristy Krall are both excellent to work with. Let’s not forget Spin Coach Janet Champion. I came up with some new spins working with Janet.

In a way both Dani Gebser and myself were there working for ourselves but were conscious of being New Zealand Representatives. We attended 4-5, 45 minute ice sessions every day plus skating skills classes in the mornings. This went on for 6 days per week and I was there for a total of 4 weeks. One of the things to remember is this is not a holiday. In saying that the feeling of constant learning and pushing your body makes the outcomes and advances enjoyable. I did a lot of personal training sessions leading up to this trip, which got me through the tough workload without injury.

The facilities are world class. Independent warm up areas with rubber tracks and ballet studio are just some of the extras that Broadmore offers. There are two rinks in the complex with one rink being the main arena and second rink of equal standard just slightly smaller.

The atmosphere is incredible as the class of skater is of a high calibre. The discipline shown by the skaters in mental attitude and the way they conduct themselves on the ice is very professional. I managed to meet first-hand several the USA team skaters and get an understanding of their life as a skater and expectations from their coaches and parents. They are privileged to have this opportunity, but things can go south for them quickly as well. Like all skaters you have your good days and bad days.

My coach Bess Cao joined me for the last two weeks of the trip and this was beneficial to us both. Bess was able to drive things along with a format and we were very lucky to get good coaching during this time. Like all things if I was to go again, I would be more prepared in understanding what to expect. I can honestly say from the time I arrived till the day I left I gave it everything I had to get the best outcomes.

I was lucky that my application was selected to receive some funding from the NZIFSA scholarship program. The timing to receive this funding in lead up to a big national and international season was perfect. To the selection committee I’m grateful you had the faith to give me this funding. I hope you can see the benefits of the investment through my skating this season.”


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