I think it’s safe to say that you will find that as often as skaters may leave the sport, they just as often remain involved as they move through their lives. Meet Leslie Ip, the founder of EJP, the newest partner to come on board with Skate Ontario as the sponsor of the Provincial Series of competitions.

Leslie is someone who understands first-hand what it takes to be competitive in figure skating. His own story was as a singles competitor first for Canada and then for Hong Kong where he was a two-time national champion. Subsequently he turned to coaching and set about figuring out how to best support skaters who were now where he had once been.

Figure skating has grown and evolved exponentially over the past decade and did not stop during the COVID pandemic,” said Leslie. “With EJP, I want to be able to provide athletes with a facility to supplement their on-ice training in order to facilitate higher learning within the LTD (long term development) of Skate Canada for skater development to help improve the caliber of skating within Canada.”

In short, EJP is a facility located just north of Toronto and integrated within the Unionville Skating Club’s programs. The genesis of the idea came as a result of Leslie’s observations at the beginning of the pandemic. “It was clear to me that Unionville was an untapped pool of talent and could benefit from supplementary training with an off-ice facility.” He started by running virtual classes for the club while the rink was closed and noticed the gap in the training for the athletes. The idea for EJP was the result and once a plan was conceptualized for EJP, Leslie submitted a proposal to the Board for a partnership where off-ice training would be implement at an external facility from the ground up, including CanSkate and now Synchro where body awareness and basic fitness would be extremely beneficial for all. “This integration provides USC with exclusive access to time at the EJP facility for as many skaters as possible of all levels to join the classes that are being offered,” explained Leslie.

Although EJP and Unionville have come to an arrangement, the facility is also open to all other skaters who would like to explore the benefits of an off-ice training program. Leslie explains it this way: “Off-ice training has recently been the tool that has assisted in the development of figure skaters to achieve new elements at a faster rate. By doing training off-ice, athletes are able to learn new skills and work on muscle and strength development on the ground where they do not have to also worry about balancing on the ice while executing new and challenging skills.” It is a widely held notion that by learning new skills off-ice first, skaters have a better understanding of their body which in turn can be applied to their on-ice training. It’s all about shortening the learning phase in the athlete’s development at any stage.

Having a partnership with a skating club is good but to have a solid foundation and curriculum is great. In Addition to the strong partnership between EJP and USC, EJP also has Olympic and World Champion Meagan Duhamel as the managing director of EJP. “Having someone like Meagan to help with the development of the off ice programs at EJP allows for the development of skaters to be consistent for their off-ice training. Meagan has an amazing depth of knowledge from her experiences and creates lots of wonderful exercises for the skaters,” mentions Leslie.

The partnership with Skate Ontario is one that has both sides equally excited. “I am most excited for skaters, coaches, and clubs to know that there is a new resource to enhance the training for their athletes. My hope that this partnership will bring more awareness to the importance of cross training through off-ice training,” commented Leslie.

Skate Ontario’s Chief Operating Officer Derek Ventnor commented, “With this new partnership, skaters from far and wide within Skate Ontario as well as guest skaters from other sections will be able to learn about EJP and the state of art facility it is and how it is supporting our Provincial Series of competitions. We are very grateful to Leslie and look forward to developing this new relationship.”

For more information, visit and get ready to “Jump Beyond Limits.”


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