Skate Canada Manitoulin getting off to a strong, if somewhat late, start to 2022 season

MANITOULIN—The Skate Canada Manitoulin (SCM) season may have started a little late, but things have been going great thus far. 

“We have 80 skaters this season, which is great,” stated Abbie Drolet, head coach of SCM. “The rinks opened up again last week, so we are able to resume classes for the season.” Assiginack arena opened a couple of weeks ago and the Northeastern Manitoulin and the Islands (NEMI) Little Current rink opened last week. She noted that in the past, SCM has also used the M’Chigeeng, Mindemoya and Gore Bay arenas, but they won’t be utilized this year.

“Our youngest skater is two-and-a-half years old and our oldest skater this year is 45,” Ms. Drolet told The Expositor. She said programs are being run for those learning to skate, figure skating and adult skating classes. 

“We started with five coaches at the start of the season and we now consistently have three. The year has been a little challenging on coaches,” continued Ms. Drolet. 

Ms. Drolet pointed out the group was fortunate to have received a donation from the Canadian Tire’s Jump Start program to allow families broader access to the program. “This funding of $15,000 helped sustain the club and get families out and active.” 

SCM provides one or two class sessions a week (at 45 minutes each) for Can Skate participants. The figure skating class participants have a choice of one, two or three sessions per week for an hour to an hour and a half. And the adult program runs once a week.

The SCM ice show has been put on hold for this year. “Actually, at this time of the year, we would be starting to prepare for the show and have at least 18 weeks of skating in so far. This year,  we have had six,” said Ms. Drolet. SCM has skaters taking part from all over the Island.