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Powell River Skating Club in need of volunteers for fundraising

Skating coach wants to balance creativity with skill building

Powell River Skating Club is back for the fall ice-skate season, which is now in session, but always looking for students, with new coach Shayla Sarton.

Sarton recently relocated from Victoria, BC, and comes to the qathet region with 12 years of coaching experience, plus a background in kinesiology and sports development. 

When asked about teaching in a smaller community, Sarton said she enjoys the pace and more personable aspect of teaching, and getting to know each student's learning style. A major development for the skate club is standardization for skills development.

“We are adding the Skate Canada background to the program,” said Sarton. “It’s a standard of skill quality throughout the program; different skills are earned through the different ribbons, so it's standardizing the program.”

Meaning, no matter where you go across Canada, ice skating skills that students learn are the same, making it easier to compete and for students to move forward with skill building.

The local club offers CanSkate, which is a flagship learn-to-skate program (any age). According to the Skate Canada website: “The program has taught millions of Canadians to reach their recreational and competitive goals on the ice.” 

The program is geared for beginners of all ages, including newcomers to Canada and athletes with a disability, teaching balance, agility skills and stronger basic skills on the ice. 

The StarSkate program is also offered by Powell River Skating Club and focuses on figure skating, introducing participants to basic figure skating and foundation skills, for those wanting to learn singles, pairs, ice dance and synchronized skating.

Synchronized skating coach and Powell River Skating Club vice president Sheila Paquette said more adults are being supported to get back to/try figure skating and synchronized skating.

“I didn’t feel comfortable performing in front of an audience until I found synchronized skating,” said Paquette. “Adult competitions are getting huge across Canada.”

Skate Canada is actively doing long-term athlete development and encouraging folks to see skating as a lifelong sport.

“My philosophy as a coach is for students to find joy in the sport,” said Sarton. “I want to balance a hard work ethic with play.” 

Sarton believes allowing students to be creative, while building athleticism and discipline, creates a good blend between work and play. Sarton teaches choreography as well, which will come in handy when the skate club gets to the point of doing recitals, ice shows and competitions. 

However, with the club’s need for ice time, costumes, travel to competitions and everything else that comes with being dedicated to a sport, volunteers and funds are needed. The club is planning hot dog sales, including on Saturday, September 16, at FreshCo from 11 am to 1 pm. An account is also set up with Sunset Coast Bottle Depot, located at 7127 Duncan Street, under Powell River Skating Club, which anyone can donate to.

The club doesn’t have many fundraisers due to a lack of volunteers and covets having someone dedicated to fundraising to help keep the costs of registration down.

Anyone who is involved with ice-sports knows icetime is expensive. The club also is calling on folks to be on-ice volunteers who are comfortable on skates and have good knowledge of basic skating skills.

For any extras, such as an ice show, the club needs all sorts of volunteers, from dressing room monitors to costume conveners, to help with sets, lighting, music.

A bulletin board can be found in the warm room outside the ice rink at the complex, or online at

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