This Wednesday, April 16, the country will be celebrating Officials Day in Canada! Our sport depends on officials, from club test days all the way to high caliber events like the Canadian Tire National Skating Championships and the Olympic Games.
At Skate Canada all of our officials are volunteers. These selfless people give up a tremendous amount of time to be trained, and continue to dedicate more time applying their skills at competitions. This week we are honoured to be highlighting the different types of officials you can find on a figure skating panel as well as providing some profiles and testimonials from our officials in the field.
To get you ready for our week of officials education check out this video of Skate Canada’s Chief Sport Officer, Patricia Chafe, who sat down with CTV Ottawa Morning in January at the 2014 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships to discuss how the judging panel comes together!
First up are the data specialists and the evaluators!
Definition: A data specialist is a volunteer who has been trained and certified to calculate the results of skating competitions either manually or using computer software. They ensure the judges have the correct materials needed for competition, as well as ensuring the judging panel computers run properly. Data Specialists are usually behind the scenes at a competition, however the Results System Manager (RSM), who is also a data specialist, spends many long hours rink-side ensuring the results are processing correctly through the computer during the competition.
Krista Sellers is a dedicated volunteer to the sport of figure skating and has been an active volunteer for over 15 years. She became a Level III Data Specialist in 2007. Krista possesses all of the necessary skills to be a successful data specialist. She is organized, professional and dedicated. During events, Krista always has a smile on face and is willing to answer any questions or concerns you may have. Krista has also spent time fulfilling the role of RSM at various events for Skate Canada. She is a very versatile volunteer and is also a member of the Officials Assignment and Promotion Committee for Skate Canada.
Definition: An evaluator is a volunteer who has been trained and certified to evaluate tests in the STARSkate program. You will see evaluators at local test days evaluating freeskate, skating skills, ice dance, and interpretive tests.
Donna Bierko: I decided to become a judge and evaluator because of my own curiosity of how the marks for skaters are obtained. I was approached by a family friend who suggested that I go for some training and then decide whether I wanted to pursue my involvement with skating as an official. More than 20 years later, I am still involved as an evaluator and judge. I truly enjoy working with the skaters and coaches to see the skaters develop through our system. While there have been times that I can get frustrated with my own judging, my experiences as an evaluator have been very positive and rewarding.
I was raised by parents who instilled in me the importance of volunteering and giving back to those who give to you. Giving back to skating as a volunteer is just one of the reasons why I am an evaluator. The main reason is that I know that at the end of the day, I have made a difference in the life of a skater. When I see the smile on the skater’s face after passing a test or when I see our champions on television at the various skating events, I am reminded of the importance of my small contribution in their skating career — a contribution I would never give up.
Stay tuned tomorrow as we highlight the judge and referee roles!