BOTWOOD, NL – Figure skating fans in Botwood got a glimpse of the future on Saturday during the 2018 STAR Provincial Competition.
Clubs from across the province were represented at the event, hosted by the local Seaport Skaters Figure Skating Club.
Jennifer Foss, chairperson of the local organizing committee, was busy running around the Harry Ivany Arena performing her chairperson duties and helping make sure the event ran smoothly.
When she could, she watched the competition, keeping her eye out for local skaters.
“I managed to sneak in a couple of performances,” said Foss with a laugh. “Our skaters are performing fantastically. They all do what we ask of them, and the main thing is they go out there and do their best and have fun.”
The Seaport Skaters have always had a strong male representation, and more young male skaters were performing on home ice on Saturday.
Foss encourages all interested males to learn more about their program, and the sport in general.
“We love to have boys in the sport,” she said. “It’s not as common, but the Seaport Skaters have always had a number of boys involved. I don’t know what it is about the sport, I don’t know if they’re starting to like it more, but it seems like the boys are enjoying it and they’re staying. Not only are they competing in the solo events, but they also compete in dance, which happens here later today.”
Eight-year-old Olivia Humber was one of the local skaters participating at STAR provincials.
It was her first time participating in an actual competition with evaluators looking on.
She said she was feeling nervous before going on the ice, but once the music hit and her routine began, the nerves were replaced with excitement.
“It was so exciting, and felt really good to skate here,” said the young athlete. “In my four-minute warm-up, I practiced my solo and did a lot of preparing so I can get my jumps right. When I got on the ice for my solo, it felt like I was able to start over really well.”
Sitting next to Humber was nine-year-old Jordyn Sheppard.
It wasn’t her first time competing, and said she was a lot calmer this time than her first time stepping on the ice.
Now that she is getting used to it, she has some advice for the other skaters at STAR provincials doing so for the first time.
“Make sure you practice a lot,” said the young skater. “I learned that a lot. Make sure you practice a lot before your event starts.”
Both skaters said they were happy with their performances on home ice, and gave credit to their coach, Kara Watkins.
“Kara is the best coach I’ve ever had,” said Humber, with Sheppard nodding in agreement. “She always talks about how important it is to play and have fun, and that makes her a great coach.”
The STAR provincial event is for those in the Star 1-3 level, which are skaters coming out of CanSkate. The skaters are between the CanSkate and competitive level, which means this is a great way to prepare for future competitions.
Skaters get a chance to learn how to perform and how the competition scene works, and they also get evaluated individually. They also get a report card that can be used by the skater and their coaches to help the skater progress.