The Kimberley Skating Club held their annual Ice Show on Saturday, March 10 with hundreds of family members and friends in attendance.
Head Coach Lorinda Nelson says that the Ice Show is meant to showcase what the skaters have accomplished over the season.
“It’s meant to give all the skaters an opportunity to perform in front of family and friends, and it’s a really a night of fun for everyone,” said Nelson. “The group programs such as Canskate and Jumpstart wind up this time of the year in conjunction with Spring Break. Our Starskaters are finalizing preparations for a Kootenay Region High Test Day that takes place in our arena this Saturday with an evaluator coming in from Calgary and most junior Starskaters are being assessed this week and advancing to higher levels in the Starskate Program.”
The Junior and Senior Starskaters as well as Jumpstart Skaters will be skating for another month, and most of them will be competing at the Chinook Open Competition in Lethbridge from April 6 to 8.
“This competition gives our skaters a chance to compete against skaters from Alberta and Saskatchewan, so it’s a great opportunity to see how well they do against others from provinces other than BC for a change,” Nelson said. “The Chinook competition normally sees upwards of 1000 skaters, so it’s really a great event to attend. Plus we all love to travel in April when the roads are usually better then what we normally face all winter season.”
In terms of highlights from the season, Nelson says the club has seen some great improvement along with a lot of growth in numbers.
“This is my first season in Kimberley having come from the Cranbrook Skating Club last season. Several of my skaters made the move to Kimberley as well and what we discovered was a very welcoming club with skaters, parents, and an executive that had a unique and healthy approach to training and competing,” Nelson said. “The atmosphere at the club and in the rink is a positive one with everyone supporting one another all the time. My skaters from Cranbrook thrived in this environment and I thoroughly enjoyed coaching all the Kimberley skaters as part of a coaching team with Claire Shaw. The entire season has been memorable because of the great people!”
Other memorable moments include Bianca Marina competing at the BC Winter Games in Kamloops and representing the Kootenays. Geneve Miller became the provincial silver medalist for the BC/Yukon Super Series Gold Women event and the Kimberley Skating Club hosted a very successful East Kootenay Invitational Competition.
Nelson says the Invitational was particularly memorable because of the “many club members and volunteers that worked together to put on a great event”.
“I think all club members will agree that winning the Barclay Trophy at the Kootenay Championships for the top club was the highlight of the season,” said Nelson. “We had 27 skaters compete at the Kootenay Championships and every one of them contributed to winning this prestigious trophy. It says a lot about the club and we were very pleased to be recognized. While we emphasize working hard and training well, we also ensure all skaters enjoy each day at the rink and that they have fun. To be happy, have fun and also score points for the club is a great achievement.”
Although there is still another month of skating before the season comes to a close, Nelson says plans are already underway for next season.
There will be a summer school to get skaters conditioned early for the competitive season, along with providing hockey platers with pre-season conditioning camps and power skating programs before tryouts.
Nelson says that there will hopefully be a few new additions to coaching staff as well.
“What this means is the potential of increased advancement in technique and progression of skills for the Starskaters. It also means a very organized and fun Canskate Program where skaters learn new skill progressions and experience innovative approaches to activities and games as well as the addition of more specialty days,” Nelson explained.
She added that they will need to reassess everything including programs, ice time, and coaching to formulate a plan that meets their continued growth. Nelson says there have also been inquiries for additional programming, and requests for more power skating classes as well as private instruction for hockey players.
“During the off season we’ve got some work to do to see how we can accommodate everything, but it’s already proving to be a very exciting and promising 2018-2019 season,” Nelson said.
Nelson also mentioned that coach Claire Shaw, who has been coaching with the club for the past two seasons, will be leaving to finish her schooling and get a degree in education.
“Everyone from the Kimberley Skating Club would like to thank Claire for all she’s done for the club and wish her well with her future endeavours,” said Nelson. “The club members would also like to thank and recognize Jacinta Marina and the Kimberley Skating Club board of directors for their efforts and time devoted towards the success of the club this past season.”