Proper skating technique is a crucial fundamental skill for any aspiring ice-sport athlete.
The newly-formed Northern Lights School of Skating is here to help with that, offering programs for hockey players, figure skaters, and recreational skaters this fall at “The Duke” (Couchiching Arena).
The CanPowerSkate program, for instance, is soon to be Canada's only nationally-regulated NCCP Instructional Stream power skating program, taught by NCCP trained and certified coaches.
It costs $320 plus HST and will run Sundays from 2:10-3 p.m.
“The primary focus of CanPowerSkate is the development of quality technique of skating skills needed for hockey and/or ringette,” said Northern Lights School of Skating director and owner Ashley Cumming.
“But since we don't have ringette in our area, the NLSS CanPowerSkate program focuses on the hockey discipline,” she noted.
“The program focuses on the development of 15 basic skill sets specific to hockey, which are divided into three fundamental areas known as balance, control, and agility.”
The CanPowerSkate program is integral to helping youth develop proper skating technique, which improves and complements their hockey game or practice.
This program aligns with the Long-Term Athlete Development (LTAD) models for Hockey Canada, Skate Canada, and Ringette Canada, and also fits into the Learn to Train stage of the LTAD.
“Therefore, CanPowerSkate is not a 'learn-to-skate' program,” Cumming stressed.
"It is meant to refine specific hockey skating skills to assist in the development of hockey skaters.
“That being said, the CanPowerSkate program is targeted to hockey players at the Novice, PeeWee, Bantam, and Midget levels,” she explained.
For those below the Novice hockey discipline, the school offers a modified “learn-to-skate” program called CanHockey-PrePower to address the development of skating skills and to introduce the early stages of the CanPowerSkate skill sets.
“Nonetheless, I highly recommend the CanPowerSkate program as it enables the opportunity to focus on skating outside of the game, or practice, which is essential in the development of young hockey players,” said Cumming.
“Because if you want to be able to play ice hockey, you need to be able to skate and if your goal in the future is to play professional ice hockey, quality skating technique is going to be an essential component,” she reasoned.
For this season, Cumming said she needs a minimum of 20 skaters signed up in order to run the CanPowerSkate Program, with the maximum being 30.
If there is more interest beyond that, Cumming will look at offering more programs.
“Next year, I am hoping to offer more CanPowerSkate classes that will further divide the skaters for training the skill sets according to their ability, which is recognized in the CanPowerSkate program as either early, moderate, or advanced in respect to the continuum of development,” she noted.
“I'm excited to see how this program will positively impact a skaters' game and the hockey teams in our area,” Cumming added.
"In July, I went to Toronto for training for this revised CanPowerSkate program and I met some other phenomenal coaches that run CanPowerSkate programs in other parts of Canada.
“And they shared that they have over 200 participants a year, and still have quite the waiting list as many hockey skaters are trying to get that type of training to compliment their hockey game,” she said.
“My goal in the near future is to approach the [local] minor hockey association and partner with them in offering CanPowerSkate as part of their hockey training, as well,” Cumming added.
The Northern Lights School of Skating also offers other programs, including CanSkate, PreCanSkate, Parents & Tots, and figure skating programs, PreStarSkate and STARSkate.
All programs start in September and you can register anytime online by visiting northernlights.uplifterinc.com
A $36 Skate Canada membership fee will be applied to each participant.
Make sure to register early as the first 45 registrants save the HST.
For more information on any of the Northern Lights School of Skating's programs, contact Cumming via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 276-1446.
You also can find the school on Facebook by searching Northern Lights School of Skating.