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Reviving Charlottetown’s skating club

Reviving Charlottetown’s skating club

The Charlottetown Skating Club has been in operation for close to 60 years. Looking back, when I grew up in the club, things weren’t as expensive. Ice costs or the registration fees weren’t as expensive and, probably 10 years ago, there were new sports that came in, that became popular, and so, the cost of ice time was rising, and so we had to increase registration fees so we could cover our costs of the skating programs. It was probably about 8 or 9 years ago that the club really had a low point in our registration numbers. We started having conversations about what we were going to do because we didn’t want to have another year like this. One of the members in our junior program, their parents, own an Asian market. He came to us, and asked more information about the CanSkate program, and in those conversations, Rich had suggested that we do a registration at his store. It was overwhelming. We weren’t really prepared for the numbers that we got. They just kept coming through the door. They wanted to skate the next day. I texted my husband, I’m like, “You’ve got to drive by. There’s a line of people to register for skating!” Since then, our numbers have been full every year. We were just overwhelmed with the number of people that wanted to learn to skate. We’ve had an overwhelming influx of skaters into our club and to see them so engaged and watch them fall in love with the sport, it’s kind of done the same thing for me all over again. I feel like I’m falling back in love with skating. Daniel’s one of the most hard-working kids that I’ve ever worked with, and I think that that’s really had a positive impact on the other skaters because they see him working hard, and they see him excelling and improving, and so he’s kind of inspired them to get into gear a little bit. We see him, you know, moving up through the competitive ranks pretty fast, and I know it’s his goal to skate at nationals and maybe to represent Canada, and I think he could do it if he keeps on the way he’s going. For a lot of newcomers, I think, when they first get here, it’s their first experience with snow, their first experience with ice, and it’s a little bit of a shock when they first get here. It’s cold, it’s wet, it’s uncomfortable, and they see the joy that Canadians have when they get on the ice. I think to a lot of newcomers, it’s a big part of what it means to be Canadian.

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