Head coach Daniele Elford leads a group of skaters through exercises during the day-long workshop at Eddie Mountain Memorial Arena. Skaters are (from left) Natasha Barsby

Figure skaters descend on Invermere

The Columbia Valley Figure Skating Club held a workshop for figure skaters from across the East Kootenay region Saturday, October 29.

The Columbia Valley Figure Skating Club (CVFSC) held a workshop for figure skaters from across the East Kootenay region Saturday, October 29 at the Eddie Mountain Memorial Arena. The workshop catered to kids of all ages and skill levels, and had a strong focus on fun.

“The general purpose of the workshop is to bring skaters in the East Kootenay region together in a fun environment that’s not competitive,” said CVFSC president Leanne Beddie.

“This is something that is meant to be fun and foster friendships in the skating world—there’s no pressure to reach a certain level.”

Skaters from Elkford, Fernie, Sparwood, Cranbrook, Creston and, of course Invermere took part in the day-long session, which was divided into several parts: on-ice activities, off-ice activities that included zumba, and a section called “fitness fun,” which included aerobics and yoga. Such collective sessions only happen once a year, and are hosted each year by a different respective club. While Invermere last hosted a workshop in 2009, before that Beddie says the club was too small and lacked the resources necessary.

“Our club has grown a lot lately,” Beddie said. “Now that we have a bigger club and more help, we can start taking on bigger things.”

Attendees had four coaches available to work with, some of whom focused on different areas. For example, head coach Danielle Elford organized the on-ice session and mapped out the lesson plan. The on-ice section was further segmented into different skills, such as stroking and jumping.

Groups of skaters (separated by skill level, and generally age) took turns in each of the sections, ensuring a comprehensive session that covered all the bases.

“It’s a different style of athletic pursuit,” Beddie said of the sport. “It’s so athletic, and a lot of it transmits to other sports—above all, you have to have the desire to do it.”

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