After 40 years, Dale Wood has stepped down from her role as the head coach of the Summerland Skating Club.
Wood started her coaching career in 1965, travelling throughout southern Alberta.
She taught in Edmonton and in Nelson before starting to coach the Summerland club in 1972.
Because of her knowledge and dedication to the sport, the club and her students, she has taught her skaters to excel.
She has taken them from Tiny Tots through the Senior Levels and on to the competitive level. The club has achieved excellent results year after year.
Her skaters always place in the top third of all competitions they enter.
Because of being an example for her students to aspire after, she has also trained several of them to become successful coaches themselves.
Wood’s own coach Dolores Troyer began teaching her at the age of nine. Troyer refers to Wood as being the “ultimate coach,” using words like dedicated, honest, ethical, organized, enthusiastic, disciplinarian, motivator and mentor to describe her.
“A true treasure to the sport of figure skating,” she concludes.
It has been said that Wood demands perfection of herself and the same of her students.
Not only does she attend to the quality of her skater’s performance but also to how they present themselves in all manner of dress and decorum. She expects and encourages her skaters to be the best they can be.
“I knew what they were capable of, and never asked anything of them that I knew I couldn’t get,” Wood said.
When asked what kept her going all these years her response was “the love of the sport and the love of the kids. The skaters kept me young.”
As a teen, Wood used to skate in Summerland and has always had a fondness for the community and the club. She expressed her hopes that the skating club continues to do well.
“It was time for me to move on in my life” she said. Her plan is to spend time volunteering, perhaps even with skaters.
“To be able to do it not as a job, but on my time is what I look forward to.”