Two local skaters will represent Kern County in a national skating competition next week.
Madison Villagomez, 12, and Anthony Rock, 9, will join hundreds of competitors at the USA Figure Skating National Championship in Lincoln, Nebraska next week.
Madison started skating when she was two years old with her mom, Ashleigh Villagomez. Ashleigh Villagomez was an avid member of the roller derby community.
Five years ago Ashleigh Villagomez died at age 27, due to a combination of illnesses, including pneumonia.
“When I skate, I skate for her a lot of the time because she would have loved this,” Madison said.
The mom-daughter duo spent much of their time together at the Rollerama on 34th Street.
“When Madison was born, Ashleigh worked here at the skating rink so Madison grew up here skating,” Shellie Enns, Ashleigh’s mom, said. “She just loved Madison, just loved skating and always wanted another child.”
Ashleigh Villagomez was planning on adopting Anthony, but his family changed their mind according to Enns.
“It just broke her heart, but she raised him basically for the first four years,” Enns said.
While they are not related by blood or the law, Madison and Anthony consider each other family.
Together, the two keep Ashleigh Villagomez’s love for skating alive through artistic roller skating.
Artistic roller skating is similar to figure skating on ice, but it is done on wooden floors and with skates that have four wheels.
Madison has been competing in artistic roller skating for four years and has collected dozens of medals.
“I love it because it does get tough, but every sports going to get tough,” Madison said. “So if you can’t handle it then it’s kind of not right because you just have to push through it to get to the fun part of it.”
Anthony started skating three years ago. He said he looks up to Madison for motivation.
“I saw Madison doing it so I wanted to do it because she’s really good at skating,” Anthony said. “It’s fun and I like doing competitions.”
The two practice over 10 hours a week and compete year-round.
They leave Saturday for Nebraska, but they need help reaching their $3,000 goal.
They have a GoFundMe set up.