A message from Lisa Alexander, Executive Director of Skate Ontario and Karen Butcher, President, Skate Ontario Board of Directors:
The end of 2017 marks an exciting time for Skate Ontario as we reflect on our first moments as a provincial organization. A lot has been accomplished in a short amount of time and we look forward to keeping our momentum going into 2018.
Ontario is home to over 350 clubs/skating schools. We are committed to supporting our clubs in promoting a healthy lifestyle, community and quality programming. With the full launch of STAR 1-5 this fall, we offered Club Enhancement Workshops for board members and coaching teams. Collaborative sessions focused on STAR 1-5 program content and participating clubs appreciated the opportunity to engage in personalized consultations with a Club Resource Team member.
To support club day-to-day operations, Skate Ontario is visiting all of our club/schools. The mission is to connect one-on-one with boards and coaches to introduce ourselves, gather information and discuss challenges. The Skate Ontario Sports Department and Club Resource Team members have connected with over 100 clubs to date. Many more visits to come in the new year!
From a development perspective, there have been numerous opportunities for athletes, coaches and officials. Looking ahead, we will have a Synchro development opportunity for coaches at Winterfest. The 2018 NCCP schedule will be released in February. Seminars and training days for skaters at the Juvenile competitive are being planned. Officials training is another priority so stay tuned for more information on development opportunities for everyone.
With our main objective to deliver consistent, athlete-focused event experiences across the province, we have conducted a review of the current competition calendar. The purpose of this review was to create a competition calendar that is aligned with the Long Term Athlete Development framework to create meaningful competitive experiences for athletes at each development stage. A working group was brought together to develop a new competition calendar. In addition, a province wide survey was circulated, and feedback was considered from over 300 respondents.
Full details of the 2018-2019 competition calendar will be released in January. Skate Ontario will host a series of online information sessions through the winter about the competition calendar.
We are thrilled to be sending the first Team Ontario consisting of 95 athletes to the 2018 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships in Vancouver from January 8-14, 2018. This year will be extra memorable as the Canadian Olympic Committee will announce the team selected for the PyeongChang 2018 Olympics. We wish the best of luck to all athletes and coaches travelling to Vancouver!
As always, we thank our committed volunteers! We could not operate without these passionate individuals and we value all of the hard work and dedication you bring to our sport.
Happy holidays from the whole team at Skate Ontario! We wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season and we look forward to seeing everyone in the new year.
Yours in skating,
Lisa & Karen