Local figure skaters prepare for the Edmonton area STARSkate invitational competition

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The Noralta Skating Club of Fort McMurray is sending 28 figure skaters to the Edmonton area invitational figure skating this weekend. The competition is scheduled to take place in St. Albert between December 3 and 5.

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This is the club’s second competition this season. For the 28 skaters, this is their first competition since before the pandemic. For three of them, this is their very first competition.

“They will be hitting the road and seeing other skaters from across the province,” said Tania Miller-Sauve, coach and assistant manager of the Noralta Skating Club. “This is a really exciting time and one that has been a long time coming for sure.”

Despite the extended hiatus from competition, Miller-Sauve said she is confident and excited the skaters are showing off their hard work.

“We know they’re all prepared which is the best place to be,” she said. “We know they’re good to go and the coaching staff are just super excited now to watch this next weekend.”

A limited number of spectators will be allowed to watch the competition in person, which is often lacking in the few competitions that have taken place since the pandemic began in March 2020, Miller-Sauve said.

“It makes a huge difference in what they do,” she said. “It’s a much better environment for them because they can perform in front of people actually sitting in the stands. “

The skaters kept their skills up to date by training whenever provincial measures allowed them to meet. Between facility closures and the limited number of skaters allowed on the ice, Miller-Sauve said there had been “a big hiatus” in training for almost two years.

The skaters have had a regular training schedule since the summer and the skaters are working hard to get back to where they were before the pandemic, she said.

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“It’s very different from training on a daily basis on an ice rink, where you are very comfortable,” she said. “Going now to a competition scenario with a jury, technical specialists and an audience as well, it’s a bit scary. “

The skating club envisions a busy 2022, with competitions scheduled for January, February, March and April. Miller-Sauve said the busy pace is a welcome change.

“We’re super happy to be back in the thick of it, feeling a little more normal,” she said. “We are happy to be busy. We are happy to have had several competitions now that the skaters are training for something. And for something in person, this is the key, and it will continue in 2022. “

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Hailey Benoit practices her <a class=figure skating routine at MacDonald Island Park on Saturday, November 20, 2021. Laura Beamish / Fort McMurray Today / Postmedia Network” class=”embedded-image__image lazyload” data-src=”https://smartcdn.prod.postmedia.digital/nexus/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/fm.1202-fm-skating.jpg?quality=90&strip=all&w=288″ data-srcset=”https://smartcdn.prod.postmedia.digital/nexus/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/fm.1202-fm-skating.jpg?quality=90&strip=all&w=288, https://smartcdn.prod.postmedia.digital/nexus/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/fm.1202-fm-skating.jpg?quality=90&strip=all&w=576 2x” height=”750″ loading=”lazy” width=”1000″/>
Hailey Benoit practices her figure skating routine at MacDonald Island Park on Saturday, November 20, 2021. Laura Beamish / Fort McMurray Today / Postmedia Network jpg, FM
Ava Casey practices her figure skating routine at MacDonald Island Park on Saturday, November 20, 2021. Laura Beamish / Fort McMurray Today / Postmedia Network jpg, FM
Addison Schneider practices her figure skating routine at MacDonald Island Park on Saturday, November 20, 2021. Laura Beamish / Fort McMurray Today / Postmedia Network
Addison Schneider practices her figure skating routine at MacDonald Island Park on Saturday, November 20, 2021. Laura Beamish / Fort McMurray Today / Postmedia Network jpg, FM


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