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Young skater nabs rare achievement

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With all the hours put into practising and competing, it's nice to get recognized for all that hard work.

Local youth figure skater Bryden Strachan, who competed as part of the CanSkate program this year with the Northern Lights School of Skating, recently was chosen as the recipient for Skate Canada's 2019 Skate Ontario Section CanSkater of the year Award.

Strachan attended the President's Reception and the Skate Canada Awards Banquet at the 2019 Ice Summit held in Ottawa back on May 23-25.

“I feel happy," she enthused about winning the award and attending the banquet. "I was excited that I got awarded.”

NLSS director/owner Ashley Cumming noted that she nominates skaters for the award every year, but Strachan was the first of her skaters to ever win it.

“It's quite the achievement and the first time I have had a skater in my coaching history be selected,” she noted.

“I nominate skaters every year so I'm pretty excited about this, especially as it was also the Northern Lights School of Skating's first season offering skating programs.”

Strachan was able to meet some of her skating heroes at the awards banquet in Ottawa, which was a memorable experience.

“I met Piper [Gilles] and Paul [Poirier],” she remarked, who both competed for Canada at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang.

“We also met Patrice [Lauzon] and Marie-France [Dubreuil], they were like two Olympic skaters that were inducted into the Skate Canada Hall of Fame when we were there,” added Bryden's mother, Nina Strachan.

“They're actually Scott [Moir] and Tessa's [Virtue] coaches.”

“I was excited," Bryden Strachan said of the whole experience. "They treated me really good.”

“It's pretty cool [to see her recognized],” Nina Strachan said of Bryden.

“It all starts thanks to Ashley [Cumming] for nominating her and for her to win it is pretty ... I mean it could have been anyone of them out there that she could have nominated, and it's just pretty neat.”

Bryden Strachan also was invited to the Skate Ontario Strength in Unity event award ceremony slated for this Saturday and Sunday in Toronto.

The event will begin with Skate Ontario's Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Saturday morning.

After the AGM, Strength in Unity will offer a variety of engaging and informative sessions for clubs, coaches, officials and skating families about communications, athlete development, Safe Sport, strategic planning, registration, fundraising and off-ice training.

Its goal is to improve communication between Skate Ontario and its stakeholders and to foster a strong skating community across the province.

During the complimentary three-course lunch on Saturday, Skate Ontario will host its annual awards presentation to the winners of the 2018-19 Skate Canada Section Awards.

“It'll be really great because Ashley will be attending it as well with us and it's the first year for the Skate Ontario one, too,” noted Nina Strachan,

“So it'll be kind of exciting to be a part of and hopefully there will be some more national skaters that [Bryden] will get to meet,” added Bryden's father, Wayne Strachan.

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