Nelson skaters ready for first competition

Nelson skaters are gearing up for the first competition of the season, the West Kootenay Invitational.

Nelson skaters display hardware from last season.

Nelson skaters are gearing up for the first competition of the season, the West Kootenay Invitational. This season the competition will be hosted by Castlegar Skating Club this weekend.

“The first competition of the season is where many skaters try out their new programs for the first time. Some skaters are adding more difficult elements, and as we haven’t competed since last March, there is a lot of anticipation for this event,” said coach Sarah Gower.

The Nelson Skating Club is sending 19 skaters to this competition, entered in 34 separate events.

As well as the traditional free skate program that most spectators will recognize, skaters can now perform an interpretive program that focuses on the performance and artistic side of the sport. Skaters can also compete in set pattern dances as couples or as an individual, and a fun elements event where jump, spin and spiral elements are performed in isolation.

“This season we are sending the most STAR 1 level skaters ever to a competition,” said coach Yoshie Measures.

There are seven STAR 1 level skaters which is the entry level to competing. Skaters participate in an evaluated event where they perform skating skills, jumps, spins and spirals in isolation, followed by a 30 second creative expression routine which is made up ad hoc.

“This is a super new event, introduced a few years ago to ensure that Skate Canada complies with the long term athlete development model, and that we don’t introduce competition too early in a skater’s development,” Gower explains.

Instead of being ranked, skaters receive a detailed report card and a rating based on the average level of achievement of each element. Each skater receives a ribbon and a positive experience that they can build on.

In other Nelson Skating Club news, the club will host its annual Christmas party on Thursday, Dec. 17 from 3:30 to 4:30 the complex. If you are interested in our programs, there will be skating demonstrations from our more advanced skaters, as well as an introduction to the CANSkate program, followed by games and a visit by Santa. Anyone who wants to participate must wear a helmet.

CANSkate registration for the January to March session will soon be open. Check to find registration forms and schedules.