After challenging year, Sioux Lookout Skating Club looks forward to next season
Mike Lawrence - Staff Writer
After facing a challenging year on several fronts, the Sioux Lookout Skating Club is gearing up for their end of season wrap-up. The club is having their final skate of the season on Saturday, April 9, winding up what has been a successful year, despite some difficulties.
Becky Bates is the club’s Vice-President. As Bates explained, skaters will have the opportunity to perform one last time in front of family and friends, stating, “Our year end celebration is going to be on April 9. We are bringing in our former coach, Lynn Traviss-Thompson, who will be assessing some of our younger skaters, as you have to have a certified coach to do that. We are also having a small celebration later that afternoon that all the skaters can participate in. They will have a chance to show off the skills and things they have worked on this year for their families and friends. They have been planning their special numbers and putting together line numbers as well.”
One of the highlights of this season was the ability to send three skaters to Vermilion Bay for a test day.
“Thanks to our coaches Julia Withers and former coach Lynn Traviss-Thompson, who has been coming back once a month this winter, we were able to see three of our older skaters participate in a test day on March 21, in Vermilion Bay. They all did well, and we were happy as this was our first chance to go to a test day since 2020. We were excited to be able to participate in this event and for the skaters to be able to achieve progress in some of their dances and other disciplines.”
Despite needing to navigate the unpredictability of COVID lockdowns and restrictions, Bates feels the year was a success, in no small part due to the resiliency and dedication of the skaters themselves. Bates explains, “We have about 15 Star Skaters. That we still have some of our senior skaters that are coming and wanting to skate and to work on their skills and dances is an accomplishment in itself. Not having a coach during the week (or as much as you would like) definitely teaches and helps the skaters to be self-motivated, as you are working on things sometimes on your own. We are so thankful for our senior Star Skaters who have stepped up and worked with our younger skaters, running through development drills and encouraging them in their skating this year.”
Many of the club’s skaters are attending a Development Seminar with Elizabeth Manley (1988 Olympic and World Figure Skating Silver Medalist) hosted by the Kenora Skating Academy on Friday, April 1st and also participate in their Ice Show that evening.
Unfortunately, with the January shutdown some things were unable to run as usual.
“We did not run our CanSkate program due to the whole month of January being locked down,” Bates continued, adding, “You typically need to run a CanSkate session for at least 10 weeks and with the lockdowns and uncertainty, as well as our CanSkate coach having too much on her plate, we were unable to run the program this winter.”
Looking ahead to next season, Bates is hopeful to be able to offer a full program for CanSkate and also for the STAR Skaters. “We have some things in the works for this summer. We are hopeful to be able to do a fish fry during the Blueberry Festival. We will be working between now and then to have some things in place for next season, and that’s a big fundraiser for our club.”