First year skaters in the Morrisburg and District Figure Skating Club’s (MDFSC) CanSkate program got a ‘big lift’ this year thanks to Steven and Trisha Morrow and their belief that “all Canadian children should have the opportunity to learn to skate”.
Steve explained Monday night during the first CanSkate skate night, that due to the costs of ice, coaches and insurance, the cost of skating for kids today is excessive, and he and Trisha wanted to find a way to help out.
“We feel that all kids should be able to learn to skate and finances shouldn’t be the deterrent,” added Trisha.
After discussing how they could help, the Morrows decided they would make a donation through their business, Morrisburg Chiropractic.
“Steven and Trisha have given us a donation to reduce the CanSkate ice fees for all of our first year skaters in the CanSkate Level I program,” explained figure skate club president, Julie VanHoof. “Basically, they came to us with their thoughts that every kid should have the opportunity to learn to skate.”
“What they have done is wonderful for the club and for the skaters,” said VanHoof. “We are hoping more skaters will take advantage of it and register with us over the next couple of weeks.”
According to VanHoof, MDFSC has 45 youngsters in the CanSkate program and about half of them are first time skaters in the Stage One Level who benefitted from the Morrow’s donation. Another 30 skaters, skate at the Intermediate/Senior level StarSkate program and one skater is in the competitive stream.
Skaters can register through online forms, through registrar Laurie Pilon, or by popping into the arena (figure skate room) on Monday nights or Saturday mornings when the CanSkate program is on the ice.
“It came as such a wonderful surprise that someone would step up and help out our skaters like this,” said VanHoof. “It’s amazing for our club and really says something for our community.”
“We hope that at least this gives more children the chance to try skating, receive some coaching and as a Canadian learn how to skate,” says Trisha. “We are doing this for the first year skaters in the Stage I CanSkate program. Then if they like it (skating) they can make the choice to continue.”
The Morrows have two of their three children enrolled in the CanSkate program, Emma in her second year and Kai as one of this year’s crop of new skaters.
Registration fees for the CanSkaters vary according to the number of times per week they skate and the length of time on each of the nights.
The CanSkate Stage I skaters (3-5 years) can choose to skate either once or twice per week for 30 minutes sessions, while the Stage two (older youngsters) for the first time this year are on the ice for 50 minutes, again either once or twice per week. The CanSkate ice slots are on Monday nights and Saturday mornings.
“The parents can choose to have their child do both or either session, but the more they skate the sooner they will see their goals reached,” says VanHoof.
It is for that reason that Skate Canada is promoting the longer 50-minute CanSkate program available at Level II.
The Morrisburg club has three professional coaches and 17 program assistants on the ice to work with the CanSkaters.
In addition to the longer ice time for the Level 2s, the CanSkate program now includes more circuits so the skaters move more from one station to another.
“This is to make it more fun, to engage the little ones more,” explains VanHoof.