Learn to Skate program putting blades on the ice

Above: Kim Edworthy instructs a Learn-to-Skate class prior to the Christmas break. Below: Edworthy has a one-on-one with Kale Tapphof during the session. The program will start again in late January and run until March. – Stephen Dafoe Photo

by Stephen Dafoe

Youth of all ages will have the opportunity to improve and refine their skating skills starting the third week of January. The Learn to Skate Program is expanding in 2016 to include offerings beyond the Learn to Skate 1 and 2 offered in the past along with power skating basics.

Power Skating is one area of particular focus this year for the program’s expansion. Tyler Edworthy, Morinville’s Operations and Program Coordinator, said the program will go up to Level 3. In the past, they have only offered skating basics and Power Skating Level 1.

“This is the whole development component of it,” Edworthy said. “It’s making sure we don’t limit the amount that these kids can improve their skating ability. What we want to be able to do is attract some of the Atom and Peewee players that are already good skaters. We want to start improving those abilities, so they are stronger on the ice, have more explosiveness, and are a lot quicker.”

Edworthy said the program was another effort at sport development for local athletes.

“We have no succession plan,” he said. “We want to start getting these kids going through the Power Skating Program so that they can come back and instruct and give back to the program. That’s the push right now — to accelerate it as quick as we can and get those participants developed as fast as we can.”

tapphof1Edworthy is quick to point out the program is for all skaters, not just hockey players, and is equally open to those who just want to learn how to skate. “This is the outlet for them to do that,” he said. “We want to make sure that it is available to everyone that want to learn how to skate.”

Program instructors include Kim Edworthy, Jackie Luker, and Jodie Bourque.

Edworthy is hoping skaters and would-be skaters will come out to see what the instructors have to offer.

“We’re striving to make this the opportunity for all kids of all abilities,” Edworthy said, adding the program is a perfect opportunity for anyone to learn and improve. “I’ve gone through it myself, right up to the Advanced Senior. It’s probably the one reason I was able to go from playing goalie up until Midget and go on to playing defense and forward.”

The program will run Monday evenings between 4:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. for all levels. Individual levels will run between 30 and 45 minutes of ice time. The program runs from Jan. 19 until March.

The cost of the program is $50 per skater. Those interested in signing up can call Morinville Community Services at 780-939-7839 or sign up online at Morinville.ca.

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