Sungod Skating Club program assistant, Pareena Sidhu, gathers for a photo with skaters Mariah Dacres, left, Sayler Bencze and Alson Chang. The club helps skaters at various levels learn important skills, whether they’re competing or skating for their own enjoyment. Nikki Scott Photography

Skating swiftly: Your child’s dedication can yield rewards in Delta

No matter where your young skater is at, there’s a spot for them in the Sungod Skating Club

Whether your child has a competitive spirit or simply wants to learn to figure skate at their own pace for self-enjoyment, the opportunity is available for them in Delta with the Sungod Skating Club.

Sayler Bencze is just six, but is already skating in the club’s Pre-Stars group (age 8-under) after spending one season with its Junior Star Academy (age 4-7). She has the temperament and the willingness to learn that coaches look for in beginning figure skaters.

“When I’m on the ice I like to try and be the fastest,” says Sayler, whose mom, Melissa describes her as “fearless” for the way she attacks the learning of new skills in this demanding sport. Sayler was thrilled to earn a silver medal in a JSA club competition last spring, which helped motivate her to want to take the next step.

The young skater, usually found at the rink in her favourite pink leopard skirt and matching pink jacket, took part in an Olympic Challenge club competition recently. Teamed with older skaters, she helped Team France win the bronze medal. “It was the most fun ever,” says Sayler, who proudly Face-Timed her grandparents in Mexico to show them her medal.

Two options for your young skater

Kevin Bursey, director of programs for the Sungod Skating Club, says regardless where your child falls on the competitiveness scale, there’s a place for them in the club.

“The nice thing about our club is we offer two pathways,” he says.

“We have our talent identification for young skaters between four and seven, where we look for potential characteristics in their physical abilities as well as their intellect towards learning, focusing and listening to instructions. We test their anxiety management out on the ice as well – the child has to be someone that doesn’t have a high anxiety toward falling.

“And we have the Starskate Academy for skaters wishing to work at a less intensive pace, but have a real love for being out on the ice and wish to pursue the sport of figure skating to whatever their potential may be. The beauty of it is, no matter what level you’re at, we’ve got a program for you.”

What’s the next step?

With Skate Canada’s CanSkate program giving young children a good grounding in the basics, Junior Star Academy is the next logical step to start learning the basics of figure skating technique. Skaters learn the foundations for turning and jumping, and work on the co-ordination needed for their introduction to figure skating.

JSA also includes such activities as theatre on ice, doing artistic figures, playing on-ice games and earning prizes. The fun and enthusiastic atmosphere allows your kids to learn the basic skills of figure skating at a young age.

Spring sessions starting soon

If you’d like to get your child involved in spring skating sessions in Delta, go online here to register, or for more information email info@sungodskatingclub.com.

You can also follow the club on Facebook.

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