Whistler skaters got their holiday season off to a hot start, with a series of strong performances at last weekend’s Jingle Blades competition (Nov. 24 to 26).
The two-hour drive was worth it for the seven athletes who travelled to Surrey to represent the Whistler Skating Club at their first competition of the season, amongst a crowd of well over 800 skaters.
“Overall we did really well. (We had) excellent results,” coach Dianne Diamond said. “Every single one of them met a goal, or two or three.”
In the Star 1 boys event — with competitors ranging in age from seven to 10 — Ethan Adanac was awarded bronze, while clubmates Kiara Felice and Moka Higashi were both awarded gold in the Star 1 girls division.
“Moka and Kiara both skated brilliantly,” said Diamond, adding that Adanac, “works so hard and is so focused and diligent. He loves to skate.”
A level up in the Star 2 girls category, Ellie Peier was awarded gold. “She skated an outstanding performance with beautiful speed,” Diamond said.
Thea Torn won silver. Both Sarah Pomroy and Nana Matsunaga ended the weekend as Star 2 bronze recipients.
In addition to her silver, Torn also accomplished a few personal goals: she landed both a loop and a flip jump for the first time at that level of competition. “She’s been working really hard, and she had a beautiful skate,” Diamond said.
For Matsunga, the weekend also marked her first time competing since advancing to a higher level. “She did a very nice job,” Diamond said. “(It was a) very excellent skate for her first time skating at a Star 2 level, where you actually perform a solo, versus just elements (in Star 1).”
The skaters have been working hard to prepare for the competition since first stepping onto the ice for regular practices in September. But with the first competition of the season behind them, the club’s focus is now set on their upcoming holiday show.
Set to take place at the Meadow Park Sport Centre’s rink on Friday, Dec. 15 at 6 p.m., the Starry Night Holiday Skating Performance will feature skates from all levels of club members, including group numbers, solos and even the littlest CanSkate members showcasing their skills on the decked-out ice.
The community is then welcome to join Santa on the ice for a public skate from 7:15 p.m. to 8 p.m. The club will be serving dinner (costing $10 for adults and $5 for children), as well as hosting a silent auction and a bake sale.
“We’re doing it much more upscale this year, because the kids and the parents wanted something a little larger than our previous santa skates,” Diamond said.
To that end, this year’s holiday performance will also feature the Whistler Singers and Whistler Children’s Choir out on the ice alongside the skaters, DJ services provided by Ira Pettle, as well as a performance by Megan Yim, a member of Team Canada’s NextGen skating team.
“She’s one of the top female skaters in Canada. We’re so fortunate,” Diamond said.
Entry for the holiday show is by donation.
If hearing about the local skating club has piqued your interest, registration is open for the next session of programs, scheduled to kick off in mid-January.
Skate Canada’s Learn to Skate, or CanSkate, program — which aims to teach children all the basic skills of skating, whether for artistic or hockey disciplines — will be offered Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. and Thursday at 4:15 p.m. Interested parents or participants can register online through the Meadow Park Recreation guide.
Community invited to watch skaters’ performances at Whistler Skating Club’s holiday show on Dec. 15