OTTAWA, ON: Canada is a land of ice and snow, a winter nation with skating in its DNA. Over the years Canadians have skated on nature’s natural rinks, on community rinks, and in arenas in front of family and friends, and sometimes thousands of spectators. One thing remains the same, how we learned to skate: CanSkate.
Skate Canada and Those Canadians media group partnered to produce a series of CanSkate Public Service Announcements (PSA) that highlights the dynamic learn-to-skate program that focuses on fun, participation and basic skill development. Based on Sport Canada’s long term athlete development (LTAD) principles, CanSkate centers on physical literacy and the fundamental skills needed to take part in any ice sport or to skate as a recreational activity.
The full length five minute video takes you back to the rink where it all began for some of Canada’s most well-known skating stars. NHL and Olympic hockey player Matt Duchene, Olympic speed skater Ivanie Blondin, Olympic figure skaters Patrick Chan, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir all appear in the campaign and are graduates of the CanSkate program which is presented by Canadian Tire.
“For decades CanSkate has been teaching the best skaters in Canada how to skate. In our new PSA a few of them talk about their experience in CanSkate and outline how the program was able to bring them to the peak of their sport,” said Dan Thompson, Skate Canada Chief Executive Officer. “Every Canadian should experience the joy of skating. Whether it is for recreational purposes or to become the next Olympic champion, CanSkate can get you there.”
For many Canadians those first steps onto the ice that turn into glides are memorable moments in their childhood and that was no different for hockey player Matt Duchene. “My first memories are when my parents signed me up for CanSkate in my hometown of Haliburton at three or four years old. Those basics that you learn at CanSkate I think applies to any level of hockey,” shared Matt Duchene 2014 Olympic Champion and member of the NHL’s Colorado Avalanche.
CanSkate uses every inch of the ice surface, skaters learn the basics of skating through a complete series of balance, control and agility skills taught in six stages. Olympic and World Figure Skating Champions Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir echoed the basics of the program.
“You cannot learn to figure skate or play hockey or anything until you have done the CanSkate program, you need that basis,” said Moir.
“Every footwork sequence we do, every spin, every lift, every move – it all comes back to the basics, it is all those fundamentals that we learned in CanSkate,” added Virtue.
Two-time Olympic figure skating medallist Patrick Chan revisits his first memories on the ice and how CanSkate shaped the future for the three-time World Champion. “I wanted to come in every day, I wanted to come and skate, I wanted to learn all the different skills. I guess I have to owe it to the coaches of CanSkate because they were really the ones that kept it fun and kept it interesting and kept wanting me to come back,” explained Chan.
Lessons are given in a group format with a maximum coach-to-student ratio of 1:10. Skaters progress at their own rate and coaches make sessions active using teaching aids, upbeat music and a wide variety of activities that create a motivational environment and promote learning.
Olympic speed skater Ivanie Blondin started her skating career at her local community rink in the CanSkate program. Blondin expressed praise for the program, “it’s for me, turned me into the great athlete I am today and I owe it pretty much all to Canskate.”
CanSkate uses tested and proven new curriculum and delivery methods that guarantee skater success in developing stronger basic skills and developing them faster. Skate Canada is proud to have all its programs taught by professional coaches who are specially trained and certified through the National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP).
Find a Skate Canada club in your area and start skating today!
CanSkate: Only The Best Can Bring Out Their Best