A 15-year-old girl from Caerphilly has made history by competing at the first ever women’s Freestyle Scooter competition at the World Roller Games.
Holly Pipe represented Great Britain at the games, which were held in Barcelona from Saturday, June 29 to Sunday, July 14.
Freestyle Scooter involves competitors riding over ramps and obstacles doing different tricks and flips over the course of 60 seconds to earn points from the judges.
On Friday, July 5, Holly finished 12th in the semi-final, missing out on a place in the final and a chance of winning a medal.
However, having only taken up the sport less than three years ago, simply competing alongside her heroes was enough to make Holly’s dream come true.
Holly said: “I was nervous during the build up but when it was my turn to perform, it was one of the best feelings.
“A lot of the older girls, such as Lucy Evans, are very good. It was an honour to compete with them.”
Holly travelled to Barcelona with her father and had planned to get plenty of training in before the event. However, when the pair arrived in the Catalan city, they learned that Holly would only have one hour to practice at the training facilities at the Olympic Stadium.
To make things even more difficult for Holly, part of her scooter cracked during her training session. It was the same scooter she had to use the following day during her semi-final performance.
Holly, who has also had to juggle training with her GCSE exams, said: “The head tube of my scooter cracked during practice, making it weaker. I personally feel I could have finished higher and my target was always to finish in the top ten, but I’m still really happy with my performance.
“This is the third competition I’ve competed at and I’m really proud to have got there.
“I’ve always dreamt of competing at the World Roller Games. It was a privilege to have had the chance. It was such a good experience.”
Holly’s father, Christian Pipe, said: “She had a big smile on her face after she had performed.
“I was in the crowd watching her with a big Welsh flag. I was ecstatic.
“It wouldn’t have mattered if Holly had finished last, it was just so great to watch her.
“It was amazing. It’s as big as any event but we don’t get enough of it over here.
“I didn’t take many photos when I was there, I just wanted to enjoy the moment.”
Mr Pipe added: “Holly has always been a trailblazer. She used to play rugby for Bedwas and was the only girl and at the skate park she’s the only girl too. She’s not phased by it.
“Holly has always been a tomboy, riding bikes and skateboards etc.
“She used to see boys doing tricks at the skate park and she always wanted to join in.
“More girls should take up roller sports and I think Holly can be an inspiration to other girls.”
Holly’s grandmother, Christine Pipe, said: “Holly and her father are very similar. Her father was always into bikes and skateboards growing up and Holly’s the same.”
Holly works part time as an instructor at RampWorld, which is an indoor skate park in Llanishen, Cardiff.
Holly has worked as an instructor at RampWorld since she was 13 so she could pay to enter competitions and buy a scooter.
RampWorld sponsored Holly to help her raise the funds to compete in Barcelona.
Holly will now set her sights on qualifying for the British Championships later this year and the next World Roller Games, which will be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 2021.