Nelson Skating Club wraps shortened season with awards

The figure skating calendar was cut short by the pandemic

Nelson Skating Club athlete Makayla Pickering strikes a pandemic pose. The club has handed out its annual awards after its season was cut short. Photo submitted

Nelson Skating Club athlete Makayla Pickering strikes a pandemic pose. The club has handed out its annual awards after its season was cut short. Photo submitted


The Nelson Skating Club had a phenomenal season, garnering medals at every figure skating event this past season, including at the Kootenay Region Championships back in February and the province wide STARSkate Super Series Final held in Kelowna at the start of March.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Nelson Skating Club season was cut one month short, which meant the ice show and awards celebrations were cancelled.

Highlights of the Super Series STARSkate final included Makayla Pickering winning the silver medal in STAR 4 13 and over, landing two clean axels in her program, and a bronze medal in STAR 6/7 Solo Dance.

Sisters Aili Brackett and Tiia Brackett winning the silver and bronze medals respectively in the STAR 4/5 Solo Dance event. Congratulations to skaters Raisa Nazaroff and Sage Wanhella who achieved silver ratings in STAR 2 and 3.

This past season has seen a surge of interest in adult skating in the Nelson Skating Club. Thanks to ViaSport we were able to run an Adult Learn to Skate class. This hooked our adults and we have a dedicated group who had planned to perform in the ice show.

Our adult figure skaters have also been hard at work. At the Kootenay Region Championship, Jen McNutt won the silver medal in Adult Open Interpretive while Natalia Nazaroff placed fourth at her first ever figure skating competition. The club is extremely proud of the adults’ spirit and passion for figure skating.

Many thanks go out to the Nelson Skating Club coaching team of Sarah Gower, Shantalla Hill, Jordyn Eberts and Rachel Stewart. Thanks to adult helpers Jen McNutt and Kelsey Williams. A huge thank you to our wonderful volunteer board of directors led by president Krista Brackett, Lisa Vasil, Nicole Hildebrand, Phoebe Lam, Kristy Pickering, Beth Oldham, Jen McNutt and Sarah Gower.

Since the arena closed early and the club lost the final month of its skating season in April, the STARSkaters have been taking off-ice training using Zoom with coaches Sarah Gower and Jordyn Eberts. Skaters have worked on core and leg strength, off-ice jumping, and even had a skates-on workout. The final workout was a Tacky Tourist Beach Party theme.

The club hopes to offer its usual summer camp from Aug. 4-21, contingent on the Nelson and District Community Complex opening in late July.

The Nelson Skating Club is a non-profit society run by volunteers, dedicated to developing skaters for every ice sport including hockey, ringette, speed skating and figure skating. The Nelson Skating Club offers CanSkate which is Canada’s No. 1 Learn to Skate program, CanPowerSkate and STARSkate, including programs for adults at all levels.

For more information, visit or email us at

Here’s a complete list of all the award winners:

CanSkater of the Year (1 medal): Paisley Jarvis

(Also nominated for Kootenay Region CanSkate Award)

CanSkate Champions (2 ribbons): Kai Chabot and Grace Johnston

Adrienne McMillan Award: Makayla Pickering

Dance Artistry Trophy: Makayla Pickering

Coaches Cup Trophy: Ceili Kooznetsoff

(Ceili was also nominated for Kootenay Region STARSkate Athlete Award)

Most Improved Jr. Academy Skater: Kara Westerhaug (CanSkate Stages), Milo Jarvis (STAR 1/2)

Most Improved Primary STARSkaters: Raisa Nazaroff and Aili Brackett

Most Improved Intermediate STARSkater: Makayla Pickering

STARSkater Sportsmanship Award: Tiia Brackett

Adult Skater Award: Jen McNutt

Test Achievement Trophy: Makayla Pickering and Aili Brackett tied with nine tests

Test Achievement Award: Raisa Nazaroff (seven tests), Ceili Kooznetsoff (six tests)

Special Mention: Tiia Brackett, Sage Wanhella with five tests each

Gold Test Awards: Jen McNutt – Gold Skills, Gold Artistic

Fitness Recognition Awards: Makayla Pickering, Ceili Kooznetsoff, Sage Wanhella, Raisa Nazaroff, Elizabeth Robbins, Hailey Robbins

Skaters Courage Award: Paige Purcell

(Paige Purcell also nominated for BC/YK Section Skaters Courage Award)

Figure Skating