Story by Jeff Gard/jgsportsmedia.com
Figure skaters will soon be back on the ice in Baltimore.
“We are excited to be able to offer skating lessons for our local community members starting Nov. 2,” said Baltimore Figure Skating Club coach Denine Page, noting that registration for new and returning skaters is online this year.
“Our club executive and arena management have been working closely together to meet the COVID restrictions set out by Skate Ontario and the local health department. It’s a different norm, but we feel we can meet the needs of our new young skaters as well as our returning star skaters and their program goals for this season.”
New this year is the club’s CanSkate – Parent & Tot program for young skaters who require hands-on assistance getting up if they fall as well as maneuvering around the ice. A “parent” can be a member of the skater’s household or social circle.
All participants in a Parent & Tot session must be registered with Skate Canada. A CSA approved hockey helmet, long pants, mittens, warm sweater/jacket and skates are required for the program. The parent must wear a CSA approved helmet if their own skating ability level is below Stage 5.
Coaches won’t be able to assist skaters.
“This is Skate Ontario being creative in addressing the Covid protocols that we need to live within,” Page said.
Other protocols that skaters and their families will encounter when entering the Baltimore Recreation Centre are similar to other public buildings and stores. In addition to wearing a mask and using hand sanitizer, there will be a daily attendance log to fill out, one parent is allowed with a skater and no food and drink will be available or allowed to be brought into the arena.
Meanwhile, the regular CanSkate (Learn to Skate) program focuses on fun, participation and basic skill development and is led by NCCP-trained professional coaches and assisted by trained assistants.
Participants can expect action, movement and fun in this program with lessons delivered in a group format. Skaters progress at their own rate and coaches make sessions active using teaching aids, upbeat music and a wide variety of activities that create a motivated environment and promote learning.
A CSA approved hockey helmet, long pants, mittens, warm sweater/jacket and skates are required.
The other program currently being offered for this season is STARSkate, which offers opportunities for skaters of all ages to develop fundamental figure skating skills in the areas of ice dance, skating skills, freeskate and interpretive skating.
Skaters have the opportunity to take Skate Canada tests through a nationally standardized testing system. Private coaching is required for individual lessons and should be arranged with the coaching staff prior to the start of the season.
For schedule and details and to register, visit the Baltimore Figure Skating Club’s website at www.bfsc.ca.