Sports

Skate Canada Super Series returns to Parksville

Mia Murray was in her element during her Performance Program routine. She captured bronze. - James Clarke Photo
Mia Murray was in her element during her Performance Program routine. She captured bronze.
— image credit: James Clarke Photo

Oceanside Place was jumping on the weekend as a field of 430 skaters representing clubs from all over B.C. took to the ice for the first stop on Skate Canada’s Pond to Podium Super Series.

This is the second year of the series meant to get young skaters used to high level competitions. It’s also the second year Parksville has hosted the opening even.

Back at the helm and in his element overseeing the event was Ted Barton, Executive Director for Skate Canada BC.

“This is probably the best facility, for our event, in the province; one of the best facilities for sure, and we’re bringing the provincial championships here in November,” he said, adding the series will be back April 2013 for the start of the Super Series’ third season.

“It’s just a great location, the building is spectacular, the sponsors in this area are terrific ... it’s just a really good place to start our super series. It’s kind of like the beginning of the hockey season, it’s the start of the figure skating season.”

Parksville is the first of six stops that make up the Super Series, which runs through to March of next year. From here the series moves to Surrey in May, then Burnaby in August, Kamloops in October, and back to Oceanside Place in November for the Super Series’ competitive stream final, which doubles as the provincial championships.

The Skaters accumulate points and have to compete in at least three of the events to qualify to podium in the Super Series final, and earn some of the prize money up for grabs.

The skaters ranged in age from as young as four up to 20.

The Super Series, said Barton, is growing, pointing out 540 skaters have signed up for Surrey.

“We are growing because we’re reducing the number of (overall) competitions and focusing on quality delivery seen here. We’re upping the quality of what we’re producing for the kids, but we’re reducing the number of competitions because they compete too often and don’t spend enough time to prepare.”

Kelsy Wong who skates out of the Burnaby Centre of Excellence (they dominated the event) was  outstanding in Novice Ladies said Barton.

The sport is on solid footing in B.C. he confirmed, as evident by the results at the National championships back in January in Moncton, New Brunswick when Team BC captured 11 medals.

The host Sandy Shores Skating Club had 15 skaters in the mix. One of the bright spots on the weekend had to be the smile on the face of Mia Murray, 12, who was rewarded with a bronze ribbon for her performance in the Girls Performance Program on Saturday.

“She’s delightful to teach ...  her skating has really improved a lot, and she just loves to perform,” SSSC co-head coach Leslee Rushton said. “That’s the first time she’s competed in over a year, and that’s only her second competition ever. She did great.”

“It’s a really good start to the season,” said Rushton. “It was a great opportunity for them to compete in their own building where they train all year, and a great way to judge where the work needs to be done for the next (event).”

Look online at pqbnews.com for local results.

 

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