Skaters prepare for big event

Inuvik's figure skating competitors run through dress rehearsal

Sarah Ladik | INUVIK
November 19, 2015
Jessica Crawford, left, helps Kalena Wainman learn a move on the ice during practice in preparation for a competition in Whitehorse later this month. - Sarah Ladik/NNSL photos

Jessica Crawford, left, helps Kalena Wainman learn a move on the ice during practice in preparation for a competition in Whitehorse later this month. – Sarah Ladik/NNSL photos

About 20 children are headed to Whitehorse later this month for the largest figure skating competition of their season, and while some are well used to the thrill of the contest, others are eager for their first time out.

“The competition means different things depending on their ages,” said coach Jessica Crawford at a dress rehearsal practice Nov. 14 at the Midnight Sun Complex. “The young ones are just really excited, but the older ones want to win.”

Skaters aged six to 15 will be headed to Yukon’s capital Nov. 24 to test their skills against skaters from the club there as well as a club from Juneau, Alaska.

Crawford said it’s more fun for participants when there are a variety of events in which to compete and this event will boast them all from creative to interpretive pieces and skills

testing.

“The creative is really fun because they just go out and have to go with it,” she said. “They have to make it up on the spot.”

This will only be the second time the club attends the Yukon Gold Nugget Championships but Crawford said this year it has added significance.

“We got our Arctic games taken away, so this helps to make up for that,” she said making reference to figure skating being cut from the program at the Arctic Winter Games in Greenland in 2016. “It’s good that Whitehorse is offering this, and it’s not too far, which allows the little ones to go.”

For the more experienced skaters, however, the competition is a chance to test their skills against others from the Yukon, Alaska and the NWT, if the Yellowknife club attends.

“I like meeting new friends, and I like being a competitor,” said Kiersten Rogers. “And I like doing the makeup and stuff. I like all the girly stuff in figure skating.”

Rogers, who has been skating basically since she could walk, said she doesn’t typically get nervous before big events, but that she likes to keep positive. The trip is also an opportunity to spend some time away from home, staying in hotels and meeting new people.

“I’m most looking forward to doing my solo,” she said, adding that she sometimes struggles with creative pieces. “Even though I just it made two weeks ago, it’s really cool.”