Dancing on eight wheels: Mia selected for GB team
Published on: 25 Aug 2017
TALENTED Mia Botta will represent Great Britain at the Cup of Europe Artistic Roller Skating Championships in Portugal next month.
Mia, 14, a student at Downend School, has been taking part in the sport since she was six and has already competed internationally several times.
She was crowned British champion in the summer and takes part in contests against older age groups. The sport takes up a lot of her free time, with training in Kent and club session in Cardiff every weekend, as well as competitions.
Mia is looking forward to the prestigious European event. “I enjoy the competitions most. I work really hard and I usually do quite well. I love going on to the podium!” she said.
And she is aiming high: “I want to be world champion one day.”
Her mum Vicky said that eventually Mia would like to become a coach, to give back to the sport from which she has gained so much.
Artistic roller skating is a way of life for Vicky too. She spends many hours - and about £80 a week on diesel - driving her daughter to training, clubs and events from their home in Hambrook, as well as customising her costumes.
“A talented child definitely needs a committed parent behind her,” said Vicky. “We are very involved. It is a real community and we have got to know people from many places.”
Mia got her first pair of roller skates when she was three and it was when she went to roller discos a few years later that her talent became apparent.
“I wondered if there was such a thing as roller skating lessons, so I Googled it,” said Vicky. “I found there was no club in Bristol but there were clubs in Stroud and Cardiff, and it went on from there. We go to Kent because her coach there, Nick Loader, is amazing and we enjoy being part of the Cardiff club.
“Mia does waltzes, foxtrots, free dancing and spinning in her routines - everything you would do on ice but on eight wheels.”
It is not cheap - Mia’s skates cost £600 a pair and her costumes are made to measure to Vicky and Mia’s designs, then Vicky adds crystals and other sparkles.
But the hard work is rewarded by her success, which is celebrated not only by family and friends but by schoolmates and teachers.
“The school is very supportive. Mia was invited to a celebration breakfast with the head teacher after she won the national competition.”