The 100 Mile House Figure Skating Club rebranded as the 100 Mile Skating Club and is looking for new members.
Director Leanne Kaup said this name change is to represent that they offer more than just figure skating lessons. Thanks to their new coach, Cindy Mardyn, they’re able to offer power skating, hockey ringette and basic skating lessons.
“We welcome kids of all ages to the club and we’re just trying to grow it, basically,” Kaup said. “Last year, we had 20 but we will take as many as we can. If we double that, that would be fantastic.”
New skaters can sign up online at 100mfsc.ca, Kaup said, for one of several classes that start on Sept. 17. The schedule is still being finalized, but Kaup said classes typically take place in the evenings during weekdays.
The club has struggled to find an experienced coach for the last few years with a club member, Vanessa Shearer, stepping up to run programs for younger skaters. With Shearer now attending university, Kaup said Mardyn came up from the Lower Mainland at the perfect time to keep the program alive.
“It’s hard to find local people who have all the credentials to offer our programs, so it is huge to us,” Kaup said. “Cindy is really experienced and she can offer a wide range of programs. We’re going to be skating just about every day of the week.”
Mardyn said she is excited to have the chance to not only keep the club active but rebuild it into something new. She’s been figure skating since the age of four and has been coaching since she was 15.
“I love coaching. Interaction with the kids is what it’s all about,” Mardyn, 47, said. “I’ve left a couple of times and not coached for a few years but there’s just this pull back as if it’s where I’m supposed to be. It’s what I’m good at.”
Watching a student go from crying their eyes out when they first step onto the ice to skating at a national competition is incredibly rewarding for Mardyn. As a coach she said her approach is to be kind and patient, creating a positive environment that fosters learning.
This year, she said she’ll be offering a canskate program, their starskate program and a power stride and glide course. Mardyn said that canskate is good for those looking to learn basic skating skills, starskate is best for skaters looking to become figure skaters and the power stride and glide course is ideal for hockey players.
“Skating is just one of those life skills, especially up here when everyone wants to go out on the ice in the wintertime and do their thing,” Mardyn said. “People are always welcome to come out and give it a try.”
Kaup said she’s looking forward to seeing how the club’s members grow under Mardyn’s tutelage. She also is hopeful older skaters like her daughter, who joined clubs in Williams Lake over the last two years, return to their home club.
“My daughter has been in skating for a long time and I’ve seen her progress really well. I think skating is just a great winter sport for any kid.”