For the first time ever, members of the Border Figure Skating Club participated in a new skills program under the direction of the Canadian Figure Skating Association.
And they passed with flying colours.
Last Wednesday, five skaters took part in a one-hour evaluation under the watchful eye of Candice Logoza, a gold medal judge based in Thunder Bay.
The skills program is a new concept under the CFSA which is practised by skaters here for 30 minutes during each two-hour session on the ice.
“Candice is one of the few qualified judges in this area," said BFSC president Tammy DeAmicis. ”She was in town so we thought we'd see where our club's standards fit [in the program].
“We really didn't know how good [the skaters] really were.”
All four skaters—Shane Katona, Lindsey Hallikas, Tracey DeAmicis, and Sarah McComb—passed their skills demonstration, performing a “set of patterns and steps” to music in front of a judge for the very first time.
There are currently seven phases in the skills program (with seven being the easiest and one the hardest), which saw DeAmicis pass the seventh phase, Katona and McComb the sixth; and Hallikas the fifth level.
Meanwhile, the two skaters taking part in the dance session—Laureen Luchka and McComb—failed to pass their tests.
Still, Borderland coach Tannis Mann said the evaluation was an “excellent” learning experience for both the skaters and coaches.
“The kids found out how they're tested for their skills, and the coaches received instruction [from Logoza] and were able to observe the standard of testing from a judge's point of view,” she noted.
Logoza also told the skaters what they did right or wrong on the ice immediately after their performance, as well as being available afterwards for one-on-one discussions.
Mann said she was surprised to see her club's standards appeared higher than that of the judges. In fact, she said she was surprised to see some of the marks handed out to her skaters.
“I thought our skaters should have passed but I didn't think they should have received as high of marks as they got,” she admitted.