Skating club aims to improve marks

Glengarry Figure Skating Club is aiming to get the attention of judges this season.

Glengarry Figure Skating Club is aiming to get the attention of judges this season.

Trevor Buttenham, the club’s new coach, has five events lined up, three of them being Super Series events.

“The more anybody competes, the better they get at it,” said Buttenham, who after completing a six-week contract with the club agreed to another deal. “It’s a learned skill.”

The list of competitions begins with the Autumn Leaves scheduled for Chilliwack in the middle of October, Winfield at the end of November and Penticton in early February. Club members competed in Burnaby Aug. 15 to 18 for the BC/YK Section Super Series SummerSkate competition. Jordana McEachern placed fifth in the under-13 Star 4, while Nadia Snyman was eighth. In Star 3, Madison Maywood was eighth.

Buttenham is excited for the Autumn Leaves event because results are given like a report card that enables skaters to see where they picked up points. They can make the adjustments in the areas needed. Buttenham also received feedback from other coaches in the area on where to pick up points.

Buttenham would like the skaters to earn a 10 per cent increase, the equivalent of one point.

“That’s dramatic,” said Buttenham, who has coached since 1998 and has his NCCP StarSkate Certified (Level 1). “That’s what I’m shooting for.”

Helping him accomplish that will be assistant coaches Shirley McNally and Katerina Buttenham.

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McNally worked with the club last year and has 32 years experience. McNally, originally from Penticton, will do choreography work with the skaters. Buttenham describes her as “fun and high energy.” He also said she has done unbelievable work with the CanPowerSkate program. Buttenham’s wife, Katerina, just began coaching. Having competed in the World Figure Skating Championship in 2000 and 2001 as well as the 2002 winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, she was fast tracked through the system by Skate Canada because of her background.

“She was an ice dancer so she will focus on dances with the kids and choreography and expression,” said Buttenham. “She will also be doing off-ice training and individual private lessons on free skate.”

Buttenham is excited to get going and has a feeling of ownership with taking over the coaching duties. He said his first six-week stint last spring there was a feeling out process for the two sides to see if it was a good fit. Now he’s looking to establish connections with the skaters and learning what they need from him. He wants to figure out what the kids need from  him. He described it as a give and take.

Snyman likes her new coach and said she’s excited to learn new things.

“I think he’s a good coach,” said Snyman, who is aiming to finish on the podium in all her events. “He doesn’t yell at us, which is good. He makes us work hard and a good coach that helps us learn new things.”

Buttenham said that any kid who has the drive to be a good skater, has the ability to do it.

“I believe that more than anything else, that hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard,” he said, pointing to a photo in his office with that written on it. “I’m excited about these kids.”