Every Stanley Cup winner or figure skating Olympic Champion needs to start somewhere.
The 100 Mile Figure Skating Club is one of those places.
The club, along with their figure skating program is offering several Skate Canada learn to skate programs this year, including CanSkate, a basic learn to skate program, Pre-CanPowerSkate, a hockey-centric learn to skate program, and CanPowerSkate, an advanced hockey skating skills program.
While it’s been a slow start to the year, says club president Danyelle Howard, now that the ice is back in the rink they’re hoping to boost their numbers.
“Benefits are everything from social interaction to confidence, exercise, fitness,” she says.
The CanSkate programs get little ones on the ice and skating, while the Pre-CanPowerSkate (which used to be the Mini Wranglers) teaches the same skills – but with children fully decked out in their hockey gear.
“It’s geared for children who want to go into hockey and continue in hockey, so they get to learn already in their hockey gear,” she says.
“Every Skate Canada program is based on control, agility and balance, so that’s what they gear the whole program around, except for CanPowerSkate, which is control, agility, balance, endurance and speed.”
The programs have levels children can graduate through. Once they’ve completed the CanSkate program, they can also join the StarSkate program for figure skating, or branch into hockey or ringette.
“We see a lot of children that excel. You just see them light up and things just open up for them. We notice a lot of shy ones get going and they have a great time in there. It just gives the children a different atmosphere to have fun and enjoy doing an activity that’s to music and all sorts of different props and stuff and just enjoy skating and learning and not really thinking about learning. You’re out there and just having a great old time.”
The programs, including the figure skating for older students, are open for children ranging from four to 18.
Joining head coach LaVerne Howard and returning coach Alyssa Linberg is a new coach this year, Lara Soukoreff.
“We’re excited to have her,” says Howard.
Having a good coach can do wonders for the learners, she says.
“A good coach can see a child and how they are progressing and adapt the program to how they can get the best and the benefit out of that child. So, for instance, they can see what they are doing wrong and be able to tell them what they are doing wrong so they can correct it.”
The programs started on Sept. 12, but Howard says registration is open throughout the year. The club will prorate costs based on when they start.
Howard says that those who are interested can contact the 100 Mile Figure Skating Club office at 250-395-1842 or stop by the office at the South Cariboo Rec Centre.