New coaches and a revised CanSkate program has the Glengarry Figure Skating Club excited.
Trevor Buttenham has been hired to replace the departed Alex Sergueev, while Janelle Morcombe has returned to teach the CanSkate program.
Buttenham joins the club with three years’ coaching experience and 12 years performing in professional ice shows. Buttenham is a three-time national competitor as a junior and in novice pairs. He is also a National Coaching Certified Program (NCCP) Level 1 certified coach, Level 2 partial and Can Power certified.
Buttenham said the reason he applied for the job is that he loves the Okanagan as he lived in Kelowna eight years ago. He’s also excited about what can be done with the club.
“I’m looking forward to the opportunity Glengarry Figure Skating Club has for me,” he said. “It’s a club with lots of potential from what it is.”
Morcombe is an experienced NCCP Level 1 certified coach, Level 2 partial, Can Power certified. She has eight years of coaching experience.
Also instructing are Ashley Da Costa, Portia Connor, and Kimberly Wright.
The GFSC board likes that Buttenham is organized and will be able to take on various tasks. Since Buttenham committed to performing another season with Royal Caribbean International doing the Ice Odyssey show, he will only be working with the club until the middle of October then return in April. During his absence, Morcombe will fill in for him.
Michelle Tuckwood, president of the GFSC, said it was important for them to get stability in the coaching area to help bring the club numbers up.
“We’re quite excited about that,” she said.
While Buttenham is only available for six weeks, he was the most qualified person to apply. The club has signed him for the spring, summer and next year.
The club expects a tough year because the City of Penticton is also offering a CanSkate program. Currently the GFSC has about 80 skaters and more athletes will still be trickling in. Last year they had 130 skaters in total.
“Our CanSkate program is cut right in half (at 40),” said Tuckwood. “There should be at least 60 to 70. It’s the feeder to us.”
That is an area that Buttenham said they need to focus on.
Skate Canada’s CanSkate program, aimed to teach basic skating, has been redesigned, said Tuckwood. In the past, clubs have put their own spin on the program, but Skate Canada wants to standardize it and have certified coaches.
“Last two years they have been prepping the club with seminars to get them ready,” said Tuckwood. “More rewards for the kids. The program is very good.”
Skate Canada’s website said, “the testing and program pilot results have shown a marked improvement in skaters’ abilities in a short period (three years) of time.”
The club said the program allows students to progress at their own rate, earn badges and advance levels. Glengarry, which has operated since 1957, also offers Can Power and Star Skate teaching advanced figure skating techniques, testing and competitive opportunities.
As the club strives to improve its numbers, they will also try to change misconceptions about them.
“We still have people go, ‘Oh, aren’t you guys the city program?” she said, adding last year the club did help the city with some programs. “Because of the term figure skating club, they just automatically, even the city manager who has wanted to change the program and compete with us, naturally assumed we are just figure skating. We are a skating club. The biggest chunk of the skating is the little ones (60 to 70 per cent of the membership.)
For registration and information about their programs, visit www.glengarryfsc.com.