All you need is a pair of skates

Cranbrook's CanSkate Program open for all on Sept. 27

The Cranbrook Skating Club is calling one and all to come out and learn to skate on Sports Day, September 27.

The club is welcoming anyone who wants to try on a pair of skates and get some ice time to come out for “All it Takes is a Pair of Skates” between 3:45 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. on Thursday at Memorial Arena.

“The focus behind Sports Day is of course to increase physical activity across Canada,” said Debbie Mandryk, coach for the Cranbrook Skating Club.

During the event, new skaters will get a chance to meet with local coaches and get a few pointers. Mandryk hopes some keen skaters will continue on in the program long after the free day. Adults are welcome, but Mandryk said helmets are mandatory for all learners.

The Cranbrook Skating Club just started off its new season on September 20, and hopes to bring out a few more faces with the free promotional day. Mandryk said that parents often don’t think of skating this early in the year, but the program is already bustling with activity. So far the club boasts a membership of 60 kids learning how to skate.

“We hope to double that,” Mandryk said. “We want people who maybe have never thought about skating for their children.”

One of the great things about skating is the arena is always the same temperature and weather conditions.

“In Canada we have cooler months for six months of the year. It’s something to do through the winter months that’s predictable,” Mandryk said. “It’s not weather dependent.”

The program welcomes girls and boys and is a great foundation for sports like ringette, hockey, speed skating and figure skating.

“We have just as many boys as girls,” Mandryk said. “The basic skating skills are needed for all of that.”

On September 20, many boys were out on the ice in full hockey gear, from San Jose sharks fans to Boston Bruins enthusiasts. Mandryk said many boys come with full-cage helmets and other hockey gear, which is both safe and fun for them.

“Hockey gloves are very popular for the boys,” she said.

There are many opportunities for skaters beyond a joyful turn around the rink. CanSkate is a Canada-wide program that teaches beginners of all ages how to skate thanks to qualified professional coaches.

The program focuses on teaching children one step at a time in a group format. Children are allowed to progress at their own rate. Participants get to take home badges as their skills progress.

After the basics, skaters can move up through the Skate Canada programming that cater to the unique goals and interests of each skater. Offered programs include CanPowerSkate, STARSkate and CompetitiveSkate.

For more information, head to the Memorial Arena for “All it Takes is a Pair of Skates” or contact Debbie Mandryk at (250) 489-2318.

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