Skating club hopes to stage ice show

Comox Valley club offers opportunities for all skaters to improve their skills

AARON VAN CLEAVE of Comox and his partner Mari Vartmann are two-time German national silver medallists. Van Cleave was coached by Dawn Ladret at the Comox Valley Skating Club.

AARON VAN CLEAVE of Comox and his partner Mari Vartmann are two-time German national silver medallists. Van Cleave was coached by Dawn Ladret at the Comox Valley Skating Club.

he show must go on!

That’s what the Comox Valley Skating Club is hoping, as they are planning to present – for the first time in several years – a full scale ice show this season.

“If you have ever thought about getting your skates back on, or getting your children into skiing, this would be the year to do it,” the club notes.

Why? “Because an ice show is the most exciting project a skating club takes on, the single largest project a skating club takes on, and the most fun skaters and parents have together in the club,” the club notes.

CVSC coaches Dawn and Greg Ladret have a wealth of experience, both in coaching skaters and staging entertaining shows. The husband-and-wife duo each has well over 20 years of coaching experience. Dawn, who has staged ice shows here in the past, has taken many skaters to provincial and national championships. Greg has competed at the national level and toured for 10 years with top-calibre ice shows, including Walt Disney’s World on Ice. He has also toured (as magician Twiggly Wiggly) in the United States and Dubai.

“We have a busy year coming up,” Greg said. “Our big project is to put together an ice show, as well as the regular stuff. The fact is it takes participation, it takes funding – we’ll be going to the community for sponsorships – so before the ice show project can fly we have to make sure the skating club has a reasonable amount of membership to put into the show, and sustain us through the year.”

Ladret notes there is a misconception that skating clubs are about only figure skating. Nothing could be further from the truth, he says. “Figure skating is one aspect of what we do. We do have competitive figure skaters. But in any place, big centre or small centre, a really small percentage of the skating program is competition.

“Nationally, I believe it’s about five per cent of all the people enrolled in skating that are competitive skaters,” he says, noting the comparison to minor hockey where approximately one half of one per cent of players make it to the NHL.

“Competing or reaching the elite level is not what the skating club is all about. It all starts at the grassroots level. Learn the basics, then follow whatever path that takes you on.

“Figure skating is not our main objective. It’s to provide a learn-to-skate program, whether it’s children that will even become figure skaters or ringette or hockey players or just go to a public skating session with friends and be good at it,” Ladret explained.

Experienced coaches such as the Ladrets are able to identify specific talents in young skaters and help steer them into the sport that best suits them. A skating club will teach the basics which skaters can build on in hockey, power skating, speed skating or whatever their interest is.

Like other groups, the Comox Valley Skating Club has been hit by cutbacks in provincial gaming grants, but Ladret notes assistance is available.

“A big thing for skating now, and we’re pretty excited about it, is that Canadian Tire is a national sponsor for Skate Canada. They also have a Jumpstart program (which helps kids who otherwise could not afford to become involved in sport). And ViaSport British Columbia is helping get folks involved. There are (funding) options,” Ladret noted.

Getting back to the ice show, Ladret notes the young skaters are always the stars of the show. “People love them,” he says. And some young skaters who were stars of previous Comox Valley Skating Club ice shows have gone on to bigger things. Michelle Jarvis is enjoying success as a competitive adult skater, bringing home medals from almost every event she enters.

Aaron Van Cleave is a pairs skater who holds dual U.S. and Canadian citizenship. He currently competes for Germany with partner Mari Vartmann. They are two-time (2011-2012) German national silver medalists.

Annie Laurie, who has performed in skating shows (produced by a longtime skating friend of Greg) on cruise ships, finished 17th in Junior Ladies at the 2003 Canadian Figure Skating Championships.

The 2000 national championships featured a number of Comox Valley competitors. Annie Laurie and brother Luke were fifth in Novice Pairs while Ashley Mangles of the CVSC and partner Laura Hougham withdrew from the event.

Luke placed ninth in Novice Men and in Novice Ice Dancing Matthew Willis of Comox teamed with Jennifer Young to place fifth. Willis is now a coach with the Racquet Club of Victoria Figure Skating Club. He is a five-time provincial champion in different pairs and ice dance levels.

From learning to basics to the international stage, the Comox Valley Skating Club truly offers something for every level and interest. For more information, contact the club at comoxvalleyskatingclub@gmail.com, www.comoxvalleyskating club.ca or 250-339-9872.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Aria Pendak Jefferson cuddles ChiChi, the family cat that ran away two years ago in Ucluelet. The feline was missing until Courtney Johnson and Barry Edge discovered her in the parking lot of the Canadian Princess earlier this month. Aria and her parents were reunited with ChiChi in a parking lot in Port Alberni. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
A little girl’s wish is answered as her cat came back

Courtenay family reunited with cat that went missing in Ucluelet in 2019

John Ludlow is making leis for sale for $20 each, with all proceeds to be donated to the Comox Valley Transition Society. Photo by Erin Haluschak
Celebrating kindness, joy and helping others on Lei Day

Ludlow is making leis for sale with proceeds to be donated to the Comox Valley Transition Society

Cumberland is finalizing its tax rate bylaw for the year, which will see a 4.93 per cent increase. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Cumberland moving ahead on 4.93 tax hike

Residential rates’ hike was less than projected during planning stages

The Coastal Fire Centre is looking ahead to the wildfire season on Vancouver Island. (Phil McLachlan – Western News)
Coastal Fire Centre looking ahead at wildfire season on Vancouver Island

‘We’re asking people in the spring to be very careful’

The Connect Warming Centre is located at 685 Cliffe Ave. in Courtenay. File photo
Potential new space for Courtenay warming centre falls through

The Comox Valley Coalition to End Homelessness had hoped to move the… Continue reading

A large crowd protested against COVID-19 measures at Sunset Beach in Vancouver on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. (Snapchat)
VIDEO: Large, police-patrolled crowds gather at Vancouver beach for COVID protests

Vancouver police said they patrolled the area and monitored all gatherings

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The following is a list of restaurants offering take-out and patio dining. ADOBE STOCK IMAGE
List of Comox Valley restaurants offering take-out, patio dining options

Restaurants in the Comox Valley continue to adapt to government-imposed restrictions in… Continue reading

A teacher-librarian in Nanaimo was fired in 2019 for checking out an age-inappropriate graphic novel to a student. The discipline agreement was published Wednesday, April 21. (News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo teacher-librarian fired for checking out too-graphic graphic novel to student

Teacher had been previously disciplined and suspended on two occasions

Vancouver Island Connector and Tofino Bus is putting a 41-passenger electric bus through its paces in a three-month trial run between Nanaimo and Victoria. (Photo submitted)
Electric bus on trial run serving Victoria-to-Nanaimo route

Vancouver Island Connector and Tofino Bus trying out 41-seat electric coach for three months

FILE – The Instagram app is shown on an iPhone in Toronto on Monday, March 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
Judge acquits B.C. teen boy ‘set up’ on sex assault charge based on Instagram messages

The girl and her friends did not have ‘good intentions’ towards the accused, judge says

Kai Palkeinen recently helped a car stuck on the riverbed near the Big Eddy Bridge. While the car could not be saved, some of the driver’s belongings were. It’s common for vehicles to get stuck in the area due to significantly changing river levels from Revelstoke Dam. (Photo by Kai Palkeinen)
“I just sank a car’: Revelstoke resident tries to save vehicle from the Columbia River

Although it’s not permitted, the riverbed near the city is popular for off roading

Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei, walks down the street with an acquaintance after leaving B.C. Supreme Court during a lunch break at her extradition hearing, in Vancouver, B.C., Thursday, April 1, 2021. A judge is scheduled to release her decision today on a request to delay the final leg of hearings in Meng Wanzhou’s extradition case. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Rich Lam
B.C. judge grants Meng Wanzhou’s request to delay extradition hearings

Lawyers for Canada’s attorney general had argued there is no justification to delay proceedings in the case

B.C. Premier John Horgan announces travel restrictions between the province’s regional health authorities at the legislature, April 19, 2021. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sees 862 more COVID-19 cases Wednesday, seven deaths

Recreational travel restrictions set to begin Friday

Most Read