The Campbell River Skating Club (CRSC) is celebrating a great first competition and getting ready for their second major event in February, but they also know they have a little extra work to do to get ready for their annual gala coming up in March.
That’s because there’s going to be a special guest in attendance: Three-time Olympic medalist and 10-time Canadian National Champion Patrick Chan will be alongside them on the ice at Strathcona Gardens.
“It started out as a wild, unachievable idea of the CRSC Executive Board in October of 2018,” says club president Sue Smith. “Determined to see if it could be done, we set out to contact his management team. After months of emails, scheduling conflicts – ours and his – we finally got a signed contact.”
Usually, the year-end gala put on by the club is a chance for them to thank the community for its support by showing off their skills in a series of individual and team skates, and that will still be the case in March.
However, when a powerhouse of the Canadian skating world is going to be in attendance, you obviously want to let him put on a show, as well.
“The event will look somewhat similar to past season-end shows,” Smith says. “It will be filled with fun individual, duo and group numbers showcasing all the levels of skating the club has to offer, and of course two numbers by Patrick. Our coach, Rae Anne Hesketh, is busy at work picking out the music and choreographing the numbers so they are ready for everyone to start learning the choreography in January.”
Meanwhile, the team has returned from its first competition, the VI Interclub Competition in Mill Bay, in which five local skaters took part and performed well.
Katiana McCune earned a bronze medal at the competition in the Star 4 – 13 and Over category, while teammate Emily Peters finished 7th.
Taryn Latrace and Stephanie Watts each earned silver ribbons in the Star 3 category and Ayla Bruce earned herself a bronze ribbon, as well.
CRSC’s Heidi Schulte also traveled to the competition, but she was there to attend the Star 1-4 Judges Training Clinic being offered by the Vancouver Island Region at the event.
The skater’s excellent performances at the first competition of the year were likely helped by their attendance at the Vancouver Island Region Skater Development Seminar, held in Parksville back in September.
“This year the VI Region brought in two Olympic level coaches: Doug Leigh (Elvis Stojko and Brian Orser’s Coach) and Robert Tebby to work the skaters,” Smith says. “We had six skaters participate, they learned some new skills and techniques and came home inspired to work even harder.”
CRSC will compete in two more Island-based competitions this year: the VI Regional Championships in Port Alberni in February and the Vancouver Island Super Series in Parksville in April. This season there is also talk of doing a mainland-based competition in May.
And, of course, they have to figure out some logistics for their gala, entitled “Skating Through the 80s.” Smith says tickets for the event will be $20, and will go on sale sometime in January.
“This is an incredible opportunity for our skaters,” she says. “We are very excited to welcome Patrick to our beautiful little town. Anyone interested in tickets can email us at email@example.com and we will contact them once the sale date has been determined.”
That’s also the contact point for information on the club’s CanSkate -Learn to Skate and Power Skill classes – which start in January – for which registration is now open.