Q & A – Skate Ontario Overview – Competitions edition – February 2019
By: Skate Ontario staff
As we build Skate Ontario to be the leader amongst all Provincial Sport Organizations across the Province of Ontario, dedicated to implementing the best practices in modern day athlete, coach, volunteer and club development. We are constantly mindful of the significant contributions, legacies and ideas amalgamated from four distinct sections; each with its own set of guiding principles, skating populations and priorities.
In a wonderful twist of fate, it has been brought to our attention that a petition has been organized online to talk about reinstating interclub and invitational events in Ontario. Lisa Alexander, Executive Director, Skate Ontario is pleased to have the opportunity to respond:
Skate Ontario (SO): Is skating dying in Ontario?
Lisa Alexander (LA): The truth is that we have seen an increase of the registration fees from clubs across the province which indicates a growth in the number of skaters participating in Ontario by 5% as compared to January 2018. We have also seen an increase in the number of synchronized skating teams in the last year from 179 to 191.
SO: Are people as interested in skating as they used to be?
LA: I can’t speak to anything other than Skate Ontario but what I can say is that the interest in the Skate Ontario community has grown exponentially since amalgamation. In tracking social media over the last 5 months or so only, we have seen an increase of likes on Facebook of 4.98 %, the number of followers on Twitter has increased by 2.11 %, and on Instagram by 23.75 % and subscribers on our newly re-launched YouTube channel has gone up by 1,383 %.
SO: Why aren’t there any Inter-Club competitions?
LA: LA: In truth, interclub competitions were evolving in both Eastern and Central Ontario for example, long before the amalgamation of the four sections into Skate Ontario. Although not the same exactly, since amalgamation, athletes who wish to compete have the opportunity to enter Super Series and Star 1-4 Series events where they can challenge themselves against other skaters at the same level. This competition model is in much the same way as the old interclub model used to operate. There is also a lot to be said for the development of other events that share the resources between clubs. One of the ideas that we were running with was performance days, and it was thought that a few clubs could have participated in those events together in whatever way they chose. We are happy to hear of any ideas that you may want us to consider.
SO: What about Invitational competitions?
LA: There was a lot of debate about invitational competitions as we started to craft our competition pathway. Currently, the idea of Invitational events is under review and this will take some time to figure out if, in the big picture, this is the best way to proceed to help in the development of all of the different skating stakeholders within Ontario.
SO: Anything else?
LA: Yes. Skate Ontario represents over 40% of Canada’s skaters and we are proud to be home to the best skaters, coaches and officials in the country. It is also vital that we continue the dialogue and the sharing of ideas/concerns/comments. Thank you for bringing your thoughts forward.