WHEN I first arrive at the rink, about a dozen star level one figure skaters between the ages of 7 and 9 are just finishing up the half an hour of testing practice they go through every session.
This is their least favourite part of the evening, said publicity chair Elaine Sanchez, and proving her point, a young skater slowly skates up to the boards and asks how many minutes are left.
The testing portion, where the skaters practise set moves to old-time music is necessary so the skaters will be prepared for the test days that happen around the province that, if they pass, will allow them to move up a level in the program.
One of the club’s coaches, Rayven Algor, also in attendance at this session, is contemplating going for the final diamond level this year.
It’s the beginning of the skating season, so the Terrace Skating Club is gearing up for what it’s saying will be a great year with a couple of new offerings for members of the club.
Off-ice training for the figure skaters is something new this year. “It’s crucial,” said Algor. “If you can’t do the spins and moves on land, how can you do them on skates?”
This new training will help prepare the skaters for regionals, held in Kitimat this year on Feb. 15-17, as well as a handful of other competitions held around the province.
Kitimat is also hosting a development seminar with veteran coach Steve Muff from Kelowna, who gave a popular seminar in Terrace last year. “He’s awesome,” said Algor.
The fact that these two events are held in Kitimat is great for the Terrace club, said Sanchez, because it means less travel time.
The club won’t be hosting an ice show like the Alice and Wonderland themed show of last year (Terrace holds ice shows every two years), but the Kla-How-Ya held here at the end of January is one of the big competitions in the northwest for the skating club.
“We encourage and ask the public to come and cheer on the local girls. The public is welcome to come and watch the events over the weekend,” said Sanchez. “We have raffle baskets, baked goods for sale and other goodies.”