Canskaters, the little guys of the Morrisburg and District Figure Skate Club, turned out in good numbers Saturday, to celebrate the successes of their skate season and to reminisce over a bowl or two of ice cream.
“This is new this year,” said club president, Julie VanHoof, as the young skaters made their way to the ice cream table to scoop up their bowls and decorate their treats with a huge assortment of ice cream toppings. “We wanted to do something for our Canskaters, so we thought we would try an ice cream party.”
According to VanHoof, this year’s Canskate Program attracted approximately 80 young skaters. “Our numbers were up this year, so we are very happy with that. And I think we have at least 75 per cent of them here today.”
VanHoof explained that while the club holds a formal awards banquet at year end, often the young Canskaters and their parents don’t attend.
Although the Canskaters receive their achievement badges as they are earned throughout the season, Saturday, each of the skaters was recognized with a certificate of achievement.
Scooping the ice cream and assisting with the presentations of the certificates were this year’s program assistants (PA’s): Brenna German, Alyssa MacMillan, Abby MacMillan, Ali VanHoof, Kristyn VanHoof, Allison Lee, Katherine Lee, Jessica Bass, Kendra Buter, Kaitlyn Stewart, Tayler Pilon, Alexis Engwerda, Teisha Mullin, Toby Mullin, Alice Cameron, Kathleen Nicolaasson and Sandy Scott.
The PAs are a valuable part of the local club as it is these more advanced skaters who run the Canskate groups under the supervision of the club’s professional coaches. “They are the ones who actually work with the young skaters,” explained VanHoof.
“As part of the Canskate Program, our PA’s are trained at the beginning of each season by the professional coaches. They have to take part in an on ice and off ice training session. They really enjoy it. We have criteria that they have to be 10 years old and have to have passed their preliminary free skate. So they are eager to become PA’s once they hit 10 years. You can see it on their faces.”
“And of course the Canskaters look up to them because they are the older skaters.”
This year’s Canskate program was chaired by Tracey Yalden and Ellen Biemond. Co-chairs were Trisha Morrow and Joanne Johnson.
Although they will officially receive their awards at the upcoming year-end club banquet…three individuals were named award winners on Saturday.
Winning this year’s Canskate Program Assistant Award was Brenna German.
This award is presented annually to an assistant who is a great asset to the coaching team on the ice and shows commitment off the ice by providing support and assistance to the club. The winner imparts passion, spirit and triumph of skating on those with whom they work.
Named as this year’s Canskater of the Year, which is awarded for talent and skill achievements coupled with passion for skating, was Marin Morrow.
This year’s Canskate Champion Award went to co-winners Sara Stewart and Ella Mallett-Seymour.
These skaters demonstrate the value of determination, discipline, perseverance and positive attitude.
This week, members of the Morrisburg and District Figure Skate Club are busy preparing for their annual ice show Saturday night, March 31.
Open to all skate fans in the community, this year’s theme is Love of Skating. Show time is 7 p.m.