Gold Brought Home to Wetaskiwin

A great deal of gold transported from Stettler to Wetaskiwin


    Each and every one of Wetaskiwin Figure Skating Club competitors brought back gold medals for every event entered in the figure skating competition held in Stettler on  January 11th, 2014. “This achievement validates the fantastic job the skaters are doing, but it is also a credit to our coach Jaime Eckersley”, proudly states Cindy Warnke. “It is quite an accomplishment for both skaters and our coach so on behalf of the Wetaskiwin Figure Skating Club, we would like to congratulate them.” The Wetaskiwin Figure Skating club has been in operation since 1970.
    The competition in Stettler was a great opportunity for the Wetaskiwin skaters to be critiqued by someone other than their coach.  When it is only the coach who evaluates the athletes’ skills, there are possibilities some bad habits can be overlooked or unintentional biases’ formed.  
    The skating season runs from September to the end of March for the StarSkate level Skaters and from October to the end of March for the Canskate and Rising Star levels. The Star skaters skate 2-3 times/week and have an additional day per week of optional off-ice training. The Rising Star skaters skate twice per week and Canskaters have the option of 1 or 2 days per week.

    The Wetaskiwin Figure Skating Club will be entering 3 competitions during the 2013-14 season:

• January 11th in Stettler
• March 1st SkateQuest in Wetaskiwin (fun meet for CanSkaters levels 1-7)
• March 28 – 30  Starskate Invitational in Olds

    “Figure skating is an excellent activity for children to express their creativity while gaining a sense of balance and ice skills that they can use at any age in life”, suggests Warnke. “ One of the important things about living in Alberta with our long winters is having a winter activity that you can enjoy your entire life – and skating can be that activity. We are hosting the SkateQuest on March 1st    and will be sending out invitations to neighbouring clubs. Everyone is welcome.  Any businesses wishing to donate, sponsor or participate as a vendor for the competition would be very appreciated.”

Contact the club for more information. w_f_s_c@hotmail.com
 
 

    While people have been ice skating for centuries, figure skating in its current form originated in the mid-19th century. A Treatise on Skating (1772) by Englishman Robert Jones, is the first known account of figure skating. Competitions were then held in the "English style" of skating, which was stiff and formal and bears little resemblance to modern figure skating. American skater Jackson Haines, considered the "father of modern figure skating", introduced a new style of skating in the mid-1860s. This style, which incorporated free and expressive techniques, became known as the "international style." Although popular in Europe, Haines' style of skating was not widely adopted in the United States until long after his death.
    Haines' style was a complete contrast to the English style; he used his ballet background to create graceful programs, and introduced accompanying music (a new concept at the time). He also screwed his figure skates directly onto his boots, which added stability and allowed him to do more athletic leaps and jumps. The typical practice of the time was to strap the blades onto the boot.
    Haines' style was not well received in the United States. He therefore went to Europe to display and teach his style, which became known as the "International style". He lived in Vienna for a time, where his skating style became very popular.
    Haines died of tuberculosis in Gamlakarleby (nowadays in Finnish: Kokkola, in Swedish: Karleby), Finland in 1875. His style did not become popular in the United States until many years after his death. The first American figure skating championships in the "International Style" were held on March 20, 1914, in New Haven, Connecticut.

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