The Squamish Skating Club (SSC) is gearing up for a busy winter season and kicking off 2013 with three different skating programs.
The Can Skate program, which began on Monday (Jan. 7), is a way for those aged four to 18 to learn how to take to the ice.
“The Can Skate program is a learn-to-skate program,” said SSC registrar Crystal Tress. “The first few levels are for children who want to be figure skaters and those who want to learn how to skate or improve their hockey skills. I actually have a son who is a hockey player in the Can Skate program.”
The beginner program takes place on Mondays and Wednesdays from 4:45 to 5:30 p.m., with a Saturdays only sessions running from 9:40 to 10:20 a.m.
Tress said roughly 100 children of all ages and skill levels are in the program, with the highest level competitive figure skating program more popular than it has been for a number of years. The SSC sent 21 skaters to a competition in White Rock in November and four more have signed on for the winter. Top-level figure skaters take to the ice three to six times a week in preparation for a competition in Kelowna in March.
Young hockey players have an opportunity to hone their skating skills in the SSC’s Can Power Skate program. Designed to work on players’ strength, conditioning and speed, it runs Wednesdays from 5:30 to 6:15 p.m.
Adults also have a chance to hit the ice with the second-ever session of the Adult Skate program. The program was introduced in the fall and Tress said it attracted skaters of all ages and levels.
“Adult Skate is really a blend of all of our programs,” she said. “When we ran it for the first time this fall we had people who had never skated before, some people with average skating skills and also some really good skaters. It’s very similar to the Can Skate program, but designed for adults.”
Teaching all three programs are coaches Kari-Ann MacDonald and Jennifer Hull. Tress said both coaches have a lot of experience and help make the programs fun.
“Kari-Ann has 26 years of coaching experience and she’s just amazing,” she said. “She’s wonderful with the kids and really knows the sport inside and out. Jennifer used to be a member of our club and she’s been coaching now for four years. She also teaches a preschool skating program at Brennan Park so she’s really good at dealing with kids.”
Tress pointed out that registration is on-going and that the SSC will accept new people signing up until the first week of February. For more information on the SSC, contact Tress at (604) 848-1249 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.