Members of the Aldergrove Skating Club gather for a photo at the arena. The club’s CanSkate lessons programs get underway this week and are open to children and adults. Photo contributed

Fresh ice awaits new skaters at Aldergrove’s arena

From kids to adults, Aldergrove Skating Club teaches valuable skills on the ice

Knowing how to skate properly is a skill that transfers well to a variety of winter sports. While the learning process can take years, getting started is often the biggest step a child can take.

Colleen Laferriere, head coach of the Aldergrove Skating Club, has taught thousands of people to skate since taking up coaching in 1976 and moving to Aldergrove in 1980. She knows well the value of her club’s learn to skate program, having witnessed many graduates go on to play hockey or ringette, stick with the club as a figure skater or simply develop a love for being out on the ice, whether they use that skill elsewhere or not.

“We’re teaching between 100 and 150 people per year, as young as three years old,” she says. “We have one skater who is 76 and she competes internationally.”

Figure skating and a lot more

Skating clubs have long fought a stigma based on a false belief that they only groom people for figure skating. That stigma is gradually disappearing, as clubs have changed their names to reflect the all-encompassing nature of their programs.

“Traditionally minor hockey and ringette don’t teach the kids how to skate, they teach them how to play the game,” Laferriere explains.

It is often left to the skating clubs to fill that gap with their CanSkate programs, operated using Skate Canada guidelines. Participants are taught how to skate backward and forward, learn stopping techniques, how to cross over both ways and more – skills that transfer well, whether the skater is signed up for hockey or ringette, or just wants to be able to go skating with friends.

Laferriere recalls a chat with a Langley chiropractor who received lessons from her with his team as a pre-teen minor hockey player. “He said it was the most beneficial thing he ever had, he was so grateful,” she says.

Sign up for CanSkate programs

The club has two weekly sessions in its CanSkate lesson program to help youngsters and adults become more comfortable on skates, starting this week at the brand new Aldergrove Credit Union Community Centre. The sessions, overseen by certified coach Roberta Sawatzky and club alumni Natasha Klop and Rachel Rollke, are designed to focus on fun, participation and basic skill development.

• Tuesdays, 4:25 to 5:15 p.m., Thursdays 4:40 to 5:30 p.m.

• Skaters receive a 15-minute group lesson, then 35 minutes of supervised practice time

• The program lasts 25 weeks, ending in early March

• The season ends with a themed Pop Concert event, where skaters get to show off what they’ve learned

Aldergrove’s new arena offers more comfortable amenities for skaters and spectators alike in the fall and winter months. And while Langley and Abbotsford have their own skating clubs, the Aldergrove club draws from all three communities, largely due to its solid teaching reputation.

For more information or to register online, visit aldergroveskatingclub.com.

 

Members of the Aldergrove Skating Club’s Ice Angels team perform at Winterfest 2018. The club offers numerous options, from learning to skate for hockey, ringette or figure skating, up to competing at high levels in figure skating. Photo contributed

Comments are closed

Just Posted

LETTER: Slow down for wildlife, please

Langley letter writer pleads with drivers to drive with caution through new areas of development

Aldergrove shop owners make downtown more inviting

Business owners rejuvenate storefronts and invite redevelopment of the town’s core

Langley kids camp featured visiting Seawolves rugby players

Kids ages four to 12 could take part in a rugby camp that included visiting professional players.

True grit: Langley U18 wins bronze at soccer championships

‘I’ve never met a group this tough,’ coach said

LETTER: How do you define heritage in Fort Langley

A letter writer speaks out against demolition of several buildings in the ‘birthplace of B.C.’

‘Bad choices make good stories’: Margaret Trudeau brings her show to Just for Laughs

Trudeau says over the decades she has been suicidal, manic, depressed

UPDATE: Youth seen with gun at Nanaimo mall, suspect now in custody

Woodgrove Centre shut down during police incident

B.C. man dies from rabies after contact with Vancouver Island bat

Last known case of human rabies in B.C. was 16 years ago

Crown recommends up to two-year jail term for former Bountiful leader

Crown says sentence range should be 18 months to two years for Bountiful child removal case

B.C.-wide police efforts identify Vancouver Island robbery suspect

Warrant issued for arrest of North Vancouver man for TD Bank robbery

VIDEO: Wolf spotted swimming ashore on northern Vancouver Island

Island wolf population estimated at under 150 in 2008, says VI-Wilds

Diversity a Canadian strength, Trudeau says of Trump tweets at congresswomen

Trudeau avoided using Trump’s name when he was asked about the president’s Twitter comments

B.C. couple bring son home from Nigeria after long adoption delay

Kim and Clark Moran of Abbotsford spent almost a year waiting to finalize adoption of Ayo, 3

Garneau ‘disappointed’ in airlines’ move against new passenger bill of rights

New rules codified compensation for lost luggage, overbooked flights

Most Read