Nelson figure skaters get ready to take the ice as the new season starts.

Changes mark figure skating season start

A host of developments in the off-season will see changes on the ice for 2011-12 Nelson Figure Skating Club.

  • Sep. 22, 2011 11:00 a.m.

A host of developments in the off-season will see changes on the ice for 2011-12 Nelson Figure Skating Club.

Tiny Tots is a new program designed for three and four year-olds too young for CanSkate, but ready to take their first brave steps onto the ice.

Using teaching aids, music and a wide variety of activities, coaches offer a fun and relaxed environment that promotes learning and prepares skaters for stage one or stage two of Canskate. Parents are even encouraged to join their kids on the ice.

The StarSkate program will see a greater emphasis on fitness.

Coaches Rachel Stewart, Yoshie Measures and Sarah Gower are looking to improve skater strength and flexibility through off-ice training.

“Our aim is to help skaters achieve greater speed and agility, and reduce the likelihood of injury,” says Stewart. “The dryland sessions we’ve added include cardio, strength and flexibility, as well as specific figure skating training such as off-ice jumping, practicing spiral positions and off-ice spinning.”

Other components will include talks on nutrition and video analysis.

The push on fitness comes from both Skate Canada and various levels of government.

“There is a realization that children are no longer as active as they once were,” says Gower. “But we also know that sports demands more of athletes at a younger age. So our focus follows the long term athlete development model, which is well researched and centred on matching proper fitness development for figure skaters. This is an important addition because programs like StarSkate are where Canada’s future skating champions are coming from.”

CanSkate remains one of the club’s specialties, with emphasis on providing skating fundamentals for children in all ice sports.

Coach Measures says they are interested in increasing the amount of time kids are actually moving while on the ice, which translates into faster skater development.

“By setting up various stations that focus on ‘go forward’, ‘go backward’ or ‘jump’ then have the kids cycle through the stations, we can increase the amount of movement they get during a 45 minute class. The idea isn’t to rush development, but help kids gain confidence sooner.”

The most notable change for CanSkate parents may be the new minimum requirement for helmets. Skaters at level five and below must now wear a Canadian Standards Associating approved hockey helmet.

Measures says it’s a simple issue of safety.

“We’ve allowed other helmets on the ice in the past, like bike helmets, but they don’t fit as well as hockey helmets and aren’t designed to protect the back of the head,” says Measures.

The competitive season begins in November and the club will be led by veterans Erica Tolles, Christina Champlin, Charly Defouw, Shayne Panko Dool, and Sophie Borhi.

Last year the club wound up its season with a successful ice show. The club was so pleased with the response from the public and the skaters that it is planning another one for March, 2012. This year’s theme is Disney.

“Performance is a big part of the skating world,” notes Gower. “The ice show is designed so that everyone participates and everyone enjoys the experience.”

For more information and registration call 250-352-6510 or visit


Just Posted

Energy efficiency session at the Nelson Public Library

Nelson Hydro customers who are seniors are now eligible for free weatherization upgrades

Local Parachutes for the Planet visit B.C. Legislature

Nelson students made parachutes to push for climate change action

LETTER: Fix the potholes

From reader Bob Johnson

Kootenay Co-op Radio calls for support to avoid deficit

The annual funding drive is important to the station’s financial health

VIDEO: Protesters in Penticton gather to rally against sleeping-on-sidewalk bylaw

The proposed bylaw would outlaw sitting or lying on the city’s downtown sidewalks

Raptors beat Bucks 100-94 to advance to franchise’s first-ever NBA Finals

Leonard has 27 points, 17 boards to lead Toronto past Milwaukee

Third person charged in death of B.C. teen Bhavkiran Dhesi

Inderdeep Kaur Deo facing charge of accessory after the fact to murder

Kamloops girl, 9, recovering from carbon monoxide poisoning now out of ICU

Her mother who was sleeping in the same tent with her did not survive

‘I think he’s still alive’: B.C. mom pleads for help finding son last seen a month ago

Family offering $5,000 reward for information leading to the safe return of Tim Delahaye

New poll suggests one-third don’t want politicians to wear religious symbols

Local politicians shouldn’t be allowed to wear hijabs, crucifixes or turbans on the job, survey suggests

Raptors fans far from home adjust plans to watch pivotal playoff game

Raptors currently lead the playoff series 3-2, and a win Saturday would vault them into NBA finals

Five takeaways from the Court of Appeal ruling on B.C.’s pipeline law

It’s unclear how many tools are left in B.C.’s toolbox to fight the project

Kootenay man arrested and charged in 2015 murder

Nathaniel Jessup 32 of Creston has been charged with the second-degree murder of Katherine McAdam and offering an indignity to a body.

Most Read