Squamish’s local skating club has opened its winter registration for one of its programs, but available spots are going fast.
According to Kari-Ann MacDonald, the head coach of Skate Sea2Sky, this has been one of the busiest registration years she can remember.
“Our registration for fall was the largest I have probably seen,” she said, “since probably pre-2005.”
MacDonald explained that a 45-minute CanSkate session typically has between 15 and 20 kids. But just this past Monday, they had 55 kids in total.
“It’s quite nice,” she said while laughing. “It’s a little shocking.”
Because of the boom in registration, the club has closed its winter CanSkate program on Mondays as it is full and there are “only a few spots left” for Wednesdays and Saturdays, said MacDonald.
New year registration began following successful holiday performances in late December, despite some members getting sick just before the show.
“Unfortunately, the flu bug especially hit our CanSkate level,” said MacDonald. “We had some groups that should have had 10 [skaters] out there, and I had three or one.”
Despite those unfortunate hiccups, MacDonald was pleased with how the “We are all Misfits” show turned out.
“I was really proud of all the kids for going out there and doing what they could do … and having enough guts to go out and have a smaller group, which is much harder when you’re learning.”
MacDonald, nearing 30 years of on-ice coaching in Squamish, helps maintain the program while holding down a separate full-time job. The club has become a family affair as her daughter coaches, and her granddaughter and grandson participate in programs.
Recently, MacDonald said she has taught the children of former students she taught in the past.
“It’s fun to watch generations fall in love with what I did, too,” she said.
In terms of what’s next for the skaters involved in the club, there will be a number of competitions throughout the winter months and into the spring. MacDonald said last year, the club put on a smaller spring performance for the community that starred the JnrStar and StarSkate groups.
“I may — depending on how their competitive season goes — do the same thing again,” she said. “It was good. The kids enjoyed it.”
If the spring show is happening again this year, the community will be notified in advance so people can watch as they did for the holiday show.
MacDonald said she is proud of the program’s direction, especially after a couple of difficult years due to the pandemic
“I’m just really excited with how things are going,” she said.
For more information about the club, including registration, please visit SkateSea2Sky.com.