Taylor launches improved CanSkate program

The Peace Passage Skating Club in Taylor has adopted the new CanSkate program and is only the second club in B.C. to do so after Dawson Creek.

"Everything you can do on skates, the new CanSkate program can prepare them for," said Dolly Reid, president of Peace Passage Skating Club on Wednesday.

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"It's basically learning how to skate, how to stand, how to fall properly and how to push," she said. "They've brought fun into the learning, so each station deals with a different fun [type of] learning. They don't realize they're learning but they are."

Skate Canada revamped the program to focus on the fundamentals of skating in a variety of sports, including figure skating, hockey and speed skating. It's geared toward getting kids skating sooner than the old program.

Taylor's CanSkate program began Wednesday and will go through to March. The club has sent its coaches to Vancouver and Prince George for special training sessions as well as seminars and has also taken on program assistants, qualified skaters who help out on the ice.

"Our coaches are really excited to do this, they're really pumped," said Sandee Aitken, test chair for PPSC.

"They are just excited to bring it in and get it going and see how the kids progress," added Reid. "If they progress as fast as they say they'll progress, it's going to be good."

The new CanSkate is now a six-badge graduation with three ribbons to earn for each badge. With ages ranging from three to seven, progression varies as much as the children do.

"We're fully booked," Reid said. "They register for a full season or half season, and our half season starts again in January so as kids progress we can allow more kids to come in, so it's supposed to be a fantastic new program."

"We have a waiting list and as they progress up, they do better, we allow more in."

By 2014 the new CanSkate program will be implemented across the country, but for now only Dawson Creek, Taylor and some skating clubs on the Island and Lower Mainland offer the program.

Taylor's CanSkate program will run until March. For more information contact the Peace Passage Skating Club.

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