The Sylvan Lake arena and multiplex were filled with throngs of spectators as young stars on ice from clubs throughout Alberta gathered for the Sylvan Lake Figure Skating Club’s Centennial Winter Skate.
The competition, held Feb.1 to 3, attracted more than 600 skaters, 14 of whom were boys, said competition chairman Shelly Suggett.
“We had skaters from all over Alberta. It worked out well for us as we are a central location, but we didn’t dream it would be this big.”
Skaters came from Edson, Grand Prairie, St. Paul, Edmonton, Calgary, Cold Lake, Rocky Mountain House, Drayton Valley, Blackfalds, Stony Plain, Lacombe and Stettler and other points throughout Alberta.
Suggett said this is the first figure skating competition the present club members have hosted and it was an excellent experience.
“It has been a learning experience for all of us and so enjoyable. We have seen lots of tears, cheers, skaters in beautiful skating costumes and, last, but certainly not least, tons of hairspray and glitter.”
Suggett said the volunteers who participated in the event deserve kudos.
“We have amazing, amazing volunteers. We had club members volunteer as well as local individuals and organizations and the judges and data specialists came from all over Central Alberta.”
“The input we have been getting is very positive and people are leaving with a smile on their face. We got a lot of compliments from out of-towners. People say they would definitely come back if we hosted another one.”
For Mary Lagrange, a first year skater from the Sylvan Lake skating club, the centennial skate was her first competition. The 12-year-old, who appeared somewhat anxious as she waited her turn to go on the ice, said she was looking forward to performing.
“I like the competition,” she said.
Thirteen-year-old Mia Pajic and fourteen-year-old Megan Devries from Stony Plain chatted about the competition while waiting outside a dressing room in the arena to go out on the ice.
“It’s fun and exciting,” said Pajic. “I like watching the other skaters.”
The girls were both staying out of town for the competition, but said they liked Sylvan Lake.
“It’s a cute little town,” said Devries.