After nearly four decades on the ice, coach Norma Grant has bid Delta’s figure skating community a fond adieux.
On Sunday Oct. 2, the Sungod Skating Club threw Grant a retirement party at Centennial Lodge in New Westminster. Grant coached with the club for 38 years, also serving as its director of skating operations.
Although she had gone to university and planned on a different career, Grant said she got involved with coaching because of her love for the sport and for working in the community, ultimately teaching several generations of Delta’s children.
“Working in Delta was fantastic, there’s so many children in the community,” she said. “They always want to do their best for you and it’s been a hugely rewarding career.”
In attendance at the party were family members, friends, past students,and coaches.
“It’s amazing to see this outpour of people coming to this event for me…it just leaves me speechless,” Grant said. Sheralynn Holt, Grant’s first student, flew up from
Scottsdale, Ariz. to surprise Grant and wish her a happy retirement.
“Norma taught me how to hug, she taught me to smile and do my best,” Holt said. “I still feel like Norma’s my coach; there’s never really an end time with her.”
Holt said Grant never cared if students made mistakes, she simply wanted them to go on the ice and try their best. “She always lifted you up, whether you were eight or 38,” she said.
Hana Haraga, a student of Grant’s for 14 years, said the close relationship they shared inspired her to get into coach- ing too, with the hope that one day she could do the same for other skaters.
Haraga said what made Grant a great coach was that she genuinely loved her students and teaching them the sport she loved.
“Every time she would come to the rink, you could tell she wanted to be there,” she said. “We had such a great relationship. She was like my second mother.”
Grant said that although she will miss her students and the skating club, she is excited to catch up on her golfing, sewing, and traveling.