Gore Bay skater trains to become certified professional coach

Alexis Lewis of Gore Bay has now taken the steps required to become a certified professional skating coach.

GORE BAY—A young Manitoulin skater, who has been a member of Skate Canada Manitoulin since 2011, has now taken the steps required to become a certified professional coach. She will coach in Gore Bay this winter.

“I love figure skating and working with kids,” said 16-year-old Alexis Lewis.

“We are incredibly proud of Alexis’s accomplishments and her commitment to sharing her love of skating,” said Abbie Drolet, of Skate Canada Manitoulin. “We have the very exciting announcement that Alexis Lewis, a Gore Bay community member, has taken the first steps to becoming a certified professional coach.”

Ms. Drolet noted, “Alexis has been a member of the Skate Canada Manitoulin club since 2011. In the six years that she has been training with us, Alexis has attained 16 tests, up to her Senior Bronze Skills, Jr. Bronze Free Skate and Senior Bronze Dance tests, which are the prerequisites to entering the National Coach Certification Program for Skate Canada coach training.”

In her six years with the club Alexis has volunteered as a program assistant at the CanSkate sessions hosted in Manitowaning, Gore Bay, Mindemoya and Little Current. She has given over 200 hours of her time to helping her club and communities on Manitoulin.

“To become a certified professional Skate Canada club coach, Alexis has had to train to the required levels in skating herself, complete the Making Ethical Decisions module from the NCCP, complete online, pre-course training for the Club Level, attend and complete the club coach course, complete first aid training, register with Skate Canada and will have to complete two portfolios to be submitted to Skate Canada for marking within the next three years,” said Ms. Drolet.

Ms. Drolet explained, “the Skate Canada Manitoulin club has been offering learn to skate programs since it began in 1950. Originally the club served the Little Current area, with more clubs starting in Gore Bay, Providence Bay, Mindemoya, Manitowaning and M’Chigeeng. Gradually clubs started to dwindle as there were not enough certified coaches to continue running programs. Eventually, the Little Current club was the last on Manitoulin. Knowing there was still an interest and skaters who wished to participate, the club changed its name and mission to include all of Manitoulin. Over the last eight years, Skate Canada Manitoulin has been working diligently to recruit and train coaches, launch CanSkate programs in several communities and try to provide Learn to Skate opportunities to Island youth.

“I completed a three-day course in Sudbury, and first aid training in about two days,” Ms. Lewis told the Recorder. “And now I have to submit two videos of my teaching to Skate Canada before I receive my final certification as a teacher. I’m looking forward to this.”

“This season we are hoping to continue our programs in Gore Bay, depending on the amount of interest there is,” said Ms. Drolet. We will now have two Skate Canada professional coaches to run the programs and we are also planning to introduce CanPower Skate. For the programs to run we need a minimum of 15 skaters in each.”