A skater who was a student in the Summerland Skating Club has returned to head the coaching responsibilities this year.
Shirley Schmidt was selected as the head coach to replace Dale Wood, who retired from the role in spring.
“It’s nice to come back to this rink again,” Schmidt said.
For the coming year, she hopes to attract more skaters into all levels of the skating program.
For younger skaters, the Can Skate program teaches them how to skate.
For boys in hockey, a power skating class provides them with the skills they need to improve in their sport.
“I’m hoping to grow that program with the club,” she said. “They’ll be better all-around skaters.”
She added that she would like to offer an adult power skating program in the future.
The figure skating instruction will continue.
Schmidt said clubs throughout the South Okanagan are smaller than in the past. She urges skaters to join the program for many benefits.
In addition to the fitness benefits, she said the participants learn to focus on their goals.
“There’s great discipline involved,” she said. “You’ve got to be very dedicated.”
Those who have that level of dedication can eventually advance to coaching positions and touring with travelling ice shows.
For this year, the star skating program for figure skaters has already started. the Can Skate program and the power skating program will begin in early October at the Summerland Arena.