Wednesday, July 17, 2024
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Kids CanSkate in Shawville

by Camilla Faragalli
Shawville
Jan. 18, 2024
Young skaters found their groove at the Shawville Skate Club’s beginner lesson on Wednesday, ending the evening with a “dance”, the weekly tradition of skating around the rink to music.
The lesson was part of the club’s CanSkate program, a learn-to-skate program for people of any age wishing to get comfortable with blades under their feet.
The club runs the program twice each year, and its winter session kicked off Jan. 8.
Program coach Marissa Lang, 16, said helping new skaters find their way on the ice was her “favourite thing.”
Lang said showing less experienced skaters why she loves the sport so much and making the rink a safe and welcoming place for everyone were among the best parts of coaching for her, adding that her students range from the ages of two to 20.
“I feel like this is my safe place too. I know what I’m doing when I walk on the ice and it’s just my favourite place in the world.”
Lang has been skating since the age of seven, and obtained her CanSkate teaching certification last December.
“I wasn’t the type to like competition, and I loved helping out with the students as PA [Program Assistant], so I wanted to go that route instead of competition,” she said, explaining why she chose to coach.
Nicholas Lacont, father of Iris (4) and Felix (6) enrolled his two children in the program after hearing about it from another parent.
“I wanted them [his children] to learn to skate. I’m not a very good skater, so I needed some help,” he said with a chuckle, adding that his goal is to go skating on ice trails through the woods.
“I thought it would be nice for them to learn, so we could do it as a family,” he said.
Natacha Corriveau, who participated in the CanSkate program herself as a child, has four children she has enrolled in the program over the years.
“Having a consistent place to come and skate is great,” she said, noting that there are far fewer outdoor rinks available to her children than there were when she was growing up.
With about 100 skaters currently in the Shawville Skating Club, demand for the program is high.
Registration begins in August and according to Bonnie Fraser, vice-president of the club, there is a wait-list for the program each year.
“We are the only arena that has a learn-to-skate program currently in the Pontiac, so we draw from all municipalities,” said Shelley Heaphy, club president.
The season will end with a performance in mid-March.

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