Skating organizers looking forward after challenging year

Another year has come and gone for members of Sylvan Lake Skating Club who marked the end of their season

Another year has come and gone for members of Sylvan Lake Skating Club who marked the end of their season with an annual general meeting and potluck supper at Lions Hall Sunday night.

But this wasn’t any ordinary year for the club.

Collapse of the arena in January caused headaches for organizers who were forced to cancel programs and find alternative ice times and locations for those that remained.

“We lost over half of our arena ice time,” said club registrar Tracy Kondor, adding that the club will face fresh scheduling challenges as it moves into next season.

“It’s just a matter of trying to keep everything going with the reduced ice time,” she said. “We’re not too sure what kind of ice we’re going to be given, so as soon as we know what our allotment is, then we can kind of plan our programming around that.”

Before the multiplex reopened, the club found its skating time in the arenas of surrounding municipalities, including Rocky Mountain House, Spruce View, Innisfail, Blackfalds, Red Deer and Ponoka.

According to Kondor, the club is open “to everyone and anyone”, and even offered an adult CanSkate program until the collapse of the arena forced its cancellation.

Otherwise, all levels of skating are offered, and are run by Skate Canada-certified coaches.

This year saw about 80 people registered. They ranged in age from three to 24 years old.

Registration for next season, which runs from the end of September until the end of March, is expected to open in late August.

Kondor feels that the club, around since the late 1970s, has something for everyone.

“It’s just getting you up and going, then if you want to branch off into figure skating and all the spins and jumps and everything, by all means, you work your way up,” she said. “It’s whatever you want to do as far as skating.”