Siblings Madelyn and Noah Skeoch share a strong bond.
It’s more than a regular brother-sister dynamic. The 12-year-olds, now living in Grafton, are twins and both love sports.
Madelyn’s passion is figure skating, though she first stepped onto the ice as a hockey player in Whitby when her family lived in the Durham region. Noah was already playing hockey and she wanted to give it a try as well.
For about two years Madelyn continued playing until one day she noticed other kids heading into the arena with figure skates. She asked her mom if she could join and estimates she was on figure skates about two months later.
“I thought it would be more fun than hockey. I didn’t really like (hockey) that much, like I wasn’t loving it, but then I thought I should probably try something new and figure skating grabbed my attention,” Madelyn says.
“I liked how you can use your toe picks, I liked how you can do different jumps and I liked how instead of hockey you wouldn’t have to push people around.”
Noah, who is a winger, loves what hockey has to offer.
“I like how it’s competitive…and I like skating really fast,” he says.
Sports certainly helped the siblings adjust with moving to the Grafton countryside in recent years.
Noah plays hockey for the Northumberland Nighthawks.
“All my friends right now are from my hockey team,” he says. “If I didn’t play hockey I wouldn’t have met them.”
The same goes for Madelyn, who is now a skater with the Baltimore Figure Skating Club.
“I met a lot of friends at the club I’m at now,” she says. “There’s lots of girls there and we have a group chat and we talk all the time.”
Madelyn and Noah certainly miss going to their respective arenas. They miss hanging out with friends there and honing their skills on the ice. Madelyn, who has previously earned some silver and bronze medals at figure skating competitions, is currently working on her axel. Noah prides himself on being a good skater, but says he is continuing to work on his shot and stickhandling abilities.
They were fortunate this past winter to have a backyard rink at home, which they enjoyed (until it melted), but it’s not the same as being in an arena.
Madelyn found it challenging to practice her figure skating routine.
“It was small and I couldn’t do half of my jumps and I got frustrated,” she says. “And then I had my brother playing hockey on the rink and he would take up half of the ice and I couldn’t go on it because he was shooting pucks.”
“She was not happy,” Noah agrees. “I liked it because I haven’t been able to play hockey for awhile because of COVID so I liked how I could have (a rink) in my own backyard and I can go anytime.”
While they do enjoy regular banter you would expect from siblings, one of Noah’s hockey memories certainly stands out for Madelyn.
“He did win a tournament one time,” she says. “That was really nice to see because that was his first tournament he won and he was really happy.”
Away from the rink, Madelyn also enjoys running and competed at the Kawartha Pine Ridge Elementary Athletics Association cross-country championships. Running helps her on the ice as well.
“I can tell when I started (running) I was becoming a faster skater,” she says.
Noah, meanwhile, enjoys golfing. Dalewood Golf Club is a favourite course of his and he promptly got out to play a round recently once the courses were allowed to re-open.
“I like it because it’s not a team sport,” he says. “I like having a team sport and not a team one. I just like the game because it’s really fun and I can go out with my friends and play.”
Madelyn joined the May 19 episode of the Total Sports Northumberland podcast to talk about her sports background and also chat with figure skating icon Kurt Browning, who is one of her favourite skaters. She’s also a fan of Gabby Daleman and Oksana Baiul.
Have a listen here for Madelyn’s questions for Kurt Browning.
Noah joined the May 26 episode of the Total Sports Northumberland podcast to talk about his sports background and also chat with three-time Stanley Cup champion Justin Williams. Noah’s favourite team is the Toronto Maple Leafs with Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner and John Tavares considered to be his favourite players.
Here are Noah’s questions for Justin Williams.
Visit the podcast page to listen to the full episodes.
You can also stream or download the Total Sports Northumberland podcast at:
Podbean – totalsportsnorthumberland.podbean.com
To nominate an athlete for Athlete Spotlight, visit: http://www.totalsportsnorthumberland.ca/athlete-spotlight/