Sports

STAR skaters get ready for Olympic Oval stage

By Don Fennell

Published 11:04 PDT, Mon July 26, 2021

Last Updated: 12:52 PDT, Fri August 13, 2021

A stately presence has existed within the Connaught Skating Club dating back to its origins in 1911, under the patronage of His Royal Highness, the Duke of Connaught.

But it’s an equally impressive commitment to being prepared that continues to enable the club’s athletes to stand out among their peers. And it begins at the grassroots.

Thanks to the endless energy and vision of long-time director of skating Keegan Murphy, Connaught’s youngest and newest members are quickly provided opportunities to develop their skills. And it doesn’t take long before they advance to where the 65 STAR level skaters—set to participate in a mid-summer in-house competition—find themselves at. 

The sixth in a series of the popular in-house events, it will take place over two days at the Richmond Olympic Oval. In mid-August, the club’s pre-juvenile to senior skaters will be competing at a BC Section Summerskate in Burnaby.

“So many of our new skaters (already) love performing for an audience. Providing short-term goals built around performances really helps motivate them to achieve new skills,” Murphy explains.

In all, 65 skaters are expected to participate in the mid-summer spectacle on ice. Murphy says it’s an incredible number in regular times, but is especially impressive given the pandemic challenges of the last 18 months.

“It has taken a village to support this generation during a time of limited resources,” he says. “I'm so proud that the organization is in such a healthy position developmentally.” 

Each program will be two minutes in duration, with the main focus on the joy of performing and attempting to engineer newly-acquired skills.

Most of the STAR athletes have been skating at least two years, with nearly all starting in the CanSkate program.

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