Natsuki Hirota (Natty) has been a student at Drumheller Valley Secondary School (DVSS) for almost a year, but once she arrived it didn’t take her long to rediscover her passion for skating. Since she was six years old, Natty had been figure skating in Japan, winning her first competition in 2009. Because of her many successes as a young skater, in 2010 NHK Trophy, an international senior level figure skating competition held as part of the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating series and organized by the Japanese Skating Federation, asked her to be a flower girl in their competition which is a great honour in the figure skating world. Natty continued figure skating in Japan until 2012 when she decided to take a break and think about her future plans.
In 2014 Natty found herself bound for Canada to attend school through the Golden Hills International Program, with DVSS in Drumheller. While her studies were her main focus, along the way she discovered that Drumheller had a skating club. Unable to resist, she laced up her skates and hit the ice once more. Being back on the ice ignited that flame of passion and Natty became an active member of the club. Whereas she practiced skating in Japan every day, before and after school, she now practices Tuesdays and Fridays allowing her time to continue focusing on her studies. She also lends a helping hand on Wednesdays with the little kids taking lessons in the Pre-CanSkate and the CanSkate programs.
Earlier this year, Natty’s coach suggested she enter the Fun on Ice competition held in Red Deer, Alberta and hosted by the Red Deer Skating Club. Happy to experience the thrill of competition again, Natty decided to enter and true to form was awarded gold and silver medals. You can watch the video of one of her performances at the competition.
Natty considers it to be a great experience and memory to have joined the skating club in Drumheller. When asked how skating in Canada is different than back home in Japan, Natty explained, “I really surprised on family skating day because most of little skaters’ parents can skate. I skate and my brother also did for many years but my parents can’t skate. It means skating is so common in Canada”.
We’re delighted that Natty has made herself at home here with Golden Hills, and thrilled that she found a way to continue doing what she loves as part of her life in Canada.