The Castlegar Skating Club has begun training for the 2011-12 season. The club, which is part of the Kootenay region of the B.C./Yukon section of Skate Canada, has close to 60 members.
“At present we have CanSkate and STARSkate programs, taught by professional coaches,” said club manager Corinne Postnikoff.
The head coach for the skating club is Karen Kirkwood, who’s in her fourth year with the club. The club coach is Sabrina Hinson, whom the club shares with Nakusp and Rossland.
“I’m really delighted that we have such delightful team rapport between our coaches and our skaters and our parents,” said Postnikoff. “It makes for wonderful club spirit both on and off the ice. They’re great ambassadors when they represent our community at seminars, workshops, competitions, or test days.”
Thirty-seven skaters, aged four to nine, are involved in CanSkate. The head coach of CanSkate is Sydni Thor-Larsen, who is in her first year as head coach of the program after sharing the duties last year with her sister.
“I had to go to a camp in Kelowna where they taught us how to work with the CanSkaters and pretty much every thing about CanSkate and teaching little kids how to skate,” she said. “We put them in groups. The groups are spins, jumps, turns, go forward, go back, and stop. So we teach them all the fundamentals of skating. It’s a lot of fun. It’s exciting meeting all the younger skaters. They’re always so excited to be on the ice.”
Thor-Larsen brings 12 years of skating with the Castlegar Skating Club to the position. Helping Thor-Larsen are several volunteer program assistants, who are mostly skaters from the club.
“There are seven proficiency levels and badges, which will prepare skaters for recreational skating, hockey, or figure skating,” said Postnikoff.
The Castlegar club has 22 STARSkaters (Skills, Tests, Achievement, and Recognition) who are divided into Junior, Intermediate and Senior levels.
One of the most promising young skaters is Andrea Poznikoff, who is currently practicing for Sectionals (Provincials) in Kelowna and is also working on achieving Gold levels in testing.
“I’ve been training for Sectionals for a couple of weeks,” she said. “There’s around 100 kids there from around the province.”
Poznikoff spent six weeks this summer training in Kelowna with a pair of coaches.
Some of the skaters will be attending the Kootenay Region Development Camp in Nelson on Nov. 5. Also coming up on the schedule is the Lake Country Competition in Winfield on Dec. 3 and 4.