First test of young season for Nelson Figure Skaters
A handful of Nelson skaters take the show on the road to compete in the East Kootenay Invitational competition beginning Friday in Kimberley.
Nelson Figure Skating Club members Charley DeFouw, Christina Champlin, Breanna Tomlin and Morgan Sabo will represent Nelson at the East Kootenay Invitational.
Beginning will Test Events on Friday, the four Starskaters will compete in a total of 13 events over the weekend across a variety of categories from Elements and Dance tests to Freeskate and Interpretive programs.
With Olympic actions just around the corner the competition is expected to draw more than 130 competitors from around the region.
The Nelson Figure Skating Club recently launched some new programs for first time skaters to seasoned competitors.
Canskate, the club’s flagship learn to skate instruction has been redesigned by Skate Canada.
The New Canskate aims to help kids progress faster through constant movement.
“In a 45 minute session there are lots of ways we ensure kids are always moving,” explains Coach Sarah Gower.
“With the use of a fast track, a circuit, props and games children are always using their stroking to acquire sound fundamentals faster. They achieve speed and better fitness sooner.”
Gower emphasizes that Canskate is a sound base for all ice sports and has added drills designed specially for kids looking to play hockey.
“We offered a condensed Canskate program in the summer and I was amazed with the progress in only five days.”
Gower and fellow coach Yoshie Measures have spent the last six months rethinking all aspects of the clubs programming.
This summer they premiered a re-tooled summer camp designed to establish the NFSC as a regional centre of excellence in the off season.
The coaches invited fitness specialists to develop a broad-based strategy to help skaters improve strength, flexibility and overall fitness.
“We want to develop the complete athlete,” says Coach Measures. “By adding flex, yoga and dance classes we complimented a rigorous on ice program with what the other instructors were doing.”
The formula proved successful with the largest summer enrolment the club has seen in years.
One key area the club wanted to rethink was the Junior Academy Program.
Designed as a transition from general skating to figure skating, the program has always had to serve skaters in transition and with a broad range of abilities.
The coaches decided to utilize the higher requirements of the New Canskate and keep skaters in that program longer.
Skaters moving into Junior Academy will now possess a firm base to learn the rigors of figure skating. For Measures, a jump specialist, its all about developing solid skill sets at every level.
“We are teaching skating that focuses on proper crosscut technique, and most importantly improved fitness through on-ice cardio sessions. We’ve notice difference since the summer, skaters are pushing harder, going faster and have more stamina.”
All those benefits will be appreciated as skaters begin to prepare for the upcoming competition season.
Next up on the competitive trail is a meet in Rossland before the Kootenay Regional Championships in January, 2014.
The Super Series Final in Kelowna March is a treat for skaters to participate in. Performances be live streamed allowing friends and supporters to watch the action wherever they are.
For more information about the Nelson Figure Skating Club, please visit nelsonfigureskatingclub.ca