Community

Sooke’s Skating Club develops strong skaters

A fundraising skate-a-thon was held on Tuesday November 19 that raised money for the Sooke Skating Club. All the kids in the group participated in the Skate-A-Thon, an they raised just over $1,800. A portion of the funds raised went to Kids Sport, and organization that provides funding for children to participate in local sports.  - Lindsey Haldane
A fundraising skate-a-thon was held on Tuesday November 19 that raised money for the Sooke Skating Club. All the kids in the group participated in the Skate-A-Thon, an they raised just over $1,800. A portion of the funds raised went to Kids Sport, and organization that provides funding for children to participate in local sports.
— image credit: Lindsey Haldane

Did you know that the Sooke Skating Club offers more than preparatory lessons for future figure skaters? Indeed, this skating group offers something for everyone, and is often a turn-to resource for coaches and parents who want to strengthen their children’s skating skills.

“There’s hockey skills in it now,” says Lindsey Haldane, one of the club coaches. “It’s more about strengthening the kids up, giving them balance and control and real agility. That’s a real switch from what it was.”

In other words, it’s a great springboard into any blade-centred activity.

The only prerequisite is a desire to skate.

This club has strong roots in Sooke, having existed in Sooke since the arena opening in 1976. It is a fully sanctioned club of Skate Canada, which means that its instructors are trained and certified. Before they can become a certified instructor, coaches have to take a three-day course in Vancouver, write a number of exams, be involved in mentoring, accumulate a certain number of teaching hours and submit a written program. As a part of the National Coaching Certification Program, Skate Club coaches also have to write an ethics test and have a criminal check done.

The instructors in the Sooke program have plenty of experience under their skates. Head Coach Bethan Greydanus has about 10 years, Lindsay Haldane has five years, and Colleen Randall has close to 20 years experience.

“I like coaching because I think it gives something back to the sport that gave so much back to me,” says Haldane, in speaking to why she is involved as a coach. “It is the coolest feeling in the world to see a little kid in September that all of a sudden, six weeks later, is skating on their own. It is very rewarding.”

Sooke follows the curriculum of Skate Canada’s flagship program, CanSkate. According to the skatecanada.ca website, “When you sign up for CanSkate you will be in a program that focuses on fun, participation and basic skill development. You will earn badges and other incentives as you learn fundamental skating skills.” The coach-to-student ratio is set to a maximum of one to 10.

Currently, Sooke’s program has about 40 members ranging in age from three to 14 years old. Programs include “Learn to Skate” and “CanSkate.” They also offer Beginner Synchro, Advanced CanSkate and Intermediate. The Intermediate course is for those who are specifically interested in figure skating and have mastered the essential skating skills.

Haldane is particularly appreciative of the support that their program receives from the Sooke community. As an officially sanctioned Skate Canada program, the Sooke program must continue every year in order to retain its member status. It’s been going strong, with a continually changing membership, since the arena first opened in 1976.

“Thank you to the community for always supporting us,” says Haldane, “for always being there and supporting us through our fundraising …. We can’t thank them enough.”

While the in-person registration for the Sooke Skating Club is far far behind us, registration is ongoing. Just email sookeskatingclub@gmail.com for information.

To stay current on the program and events offered by the Sooke Skating Club, you can visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/sooke.skatingclub or their Skate Canada webpage at http://www.skatecanada.ca/sookeskatingclub/

TIMELINE

First day of Skating was September 5

Christmas break is December 24, 26, 31 and January 2.

Last Day of Skating is March 13.

Fundraising events throughout.

Registration is anytime.

 

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