by Vicky Last February we went to visit Joel's cousins out in the country. They have a pond on their property which becomes a skating rink every winter. Joel borrowed a pair of skates from his cousin and eagerly wanted to join in on the hockey game. He was frustrated that he didn't know how to skate, and he didn't want me to help him.
Signing him up for skating lessons was an easy decision to make - the hard part was finding the right school. We decided on the Gloucester Skating Club, since they offered a pre-school Canskate program. It's a learn-to-skate program designed for kids 3 & 4 years of age. The kids are taught basic skating fundamentals, with a focus on continuous movement and creative play.
The student to teacher ratio is about 6:1 and the classes are offered once a week on Saturdays or Sundays for 30 minutes. It really is just the right amount of time, the kids have fun but they don't get bored or tired.
After the first lesson, I was feeling skeptical. Joel spent the entire time sitting on the ice, and wouldn't even try to get up without the teacher's help. I wasn't sure if he had a good time. But with every lesson he improved just a little bit more. It's been 6 weeks since he first started and he can get up by himself, stay up on his feet for most of the half hour, and can even skate slowly!
Skating was a huge part of my childhood, and I'm excited about taking my kids out on the rink and to the canal. It's great exercise and a wonderful way to get the whole family active.
The cost is about $96 for a 14 week session. The only gear your kids will need is a pair of skates, a helmet and a snowsuit. Registration for the Winter 2011 session begins on November 9th, and sessions start Saturday January 8th. For more information, see the program schedule or visit the Gloucester Skating Club's website: www.gloucesterskatingclub.ca