Skate, Amherstburg, Skate

 

By Ron Giofu

The region’s top figure skaters hit the ice at the UCCU Complex over the weekend as part of the 2013 Pat Abela-Lyle McPhedran Memorial Invitational competition.

Approximately 500 skaters ranging in age from six to 67 demonstrated their abilities at the two-day competition, the first skating competition held in Amherstburg in roughly seven years. The event featured 13 clubs from the Sun Parlour region and was sanctioned by Skate Canada Western Ontario.

Sharon Kawai, president of Skate Amherstburg, said the local club put its name forward roughly one year ago to host this year’s Abela-McPhedran competition.

“This is one of the big ones,” she said.

 

Maegan Brush (left) and Lauren Kawai of Skate Amherstburg compete together during the Saturday portion of the 2013 Pat Abela-Lyle McPhedran Memorial Invitational Competition. The event, which also took place Sunday, saw 13 clubs and roughly 500 skaters participate at the UCCU Complex.

Maegan Brush (left) and Lauren Kawai of Skate Amherstburg compete together during the Saturday portion of the 2013 Pat Abela-Lyle McPhedran Memorial Invitational Competition. The event, which also took place Sunday, saw 13 clubs and roughly 500 skaters participate at the UCCU Complex.

Along with a Futures competition and the Deveau/Winfield Synchronized Skating Invitational, the Abela-McPhedran competition is rotated through the region. Clubs throughout southwestern Ontario came to Amherstburg for the competition, with some skaters coming from as far as Hamilton and North York to compete.

“We host in a circular fashion,” said Kawai. “All three competitions rotate through our area.”

The Abela-McPhedran competition had traditionally been held in Windsor but can now come to places like Amherstburg due to the proliferation of twin-pad arenas. The single-pad Amherstburg Arena hosted a Futures competition roughly seven years ago with about 400 skaters but the UCCU Complex makes it easier to hold competitions, as Kawai noted there is less congestion in the facility and a greater flow of people.

“This is amazing. We’re hoping we can get it again in a couple of years,” she said. “I’ve heard nothing but good things from people.”

Kawai’s daughter Lauren and teammate Maegan Brush were two of the hometown skaters participating on home ice. Both said it was nice to be able to skate in familiar surroundings.

“It’s comforting, I’d have to say,” said Brush.

With the competition being at the UCCU Complex, knowledge of the ice and knowing the tempo of the music worked to their advantage as Brush noted they sometimes have to worry about the music being too fast or too slow

Victoria Tough (left) and Danielle Peltier skate their way to a first place finish in the bronze level  StarSkate Couples Interpretive competition Saturday at the UCCU Complex. It was part of the two-day Pat Abela-Lyle McPhedran Memorial Invitational Competition

Victoria Tough (left) and Danielle Peltier skate their way to a first place finish in the bronze level StarSkate Couples Interpretive competition Saturday at the UCCU Complex. It was part of the two-day Pat Abela-Lyle McPhedran Memorial Invitational Competition

at out-of-town competitions.

“You know the feeling of the ice. That’s my most favourite part,” Lauren added.

Both Lauren Kawai and Brush believed it was a chance to “show off” what Amherstburg has as some competitors had never been to this community before.

Victoria Tough and Danielle Peltier skated to top spot in the StarSkate Couples Interpretive event at the bronze level.

“It felt good. It felt strong,” Peltier noted, as they left the ice.

Both Tough and Peltier also agreed that having the event on home ice was beneficial.

“It’s awesome. It makes it so much easier,” said Tough.

“It’s a lot more comforting,” added Peltier.

 

One response to “Skate, Amherstburg, Skate”

  1. Pamela Brush says:

    Congratulations to all the competitors from Skate Amherstburg! No matter where you placed, you did our club proud! Thank you to all the volunteers who supported this fundraising event for the Sunparlour Region Clubs, and to all those skating families and fans who attended. Thanks to all the wonderful staff at the fabulous UCCU Complex for all their hard work and understanding. This was one of the events this facility was designed for and it fulfilled its purpose admirably. I heard reports about busy restaurants and businesses around town, and could only guess how much a new local hotel could have benefitted from this event. As a resident, volunteer, parent, and member of Skate Amherstburg, I am so proud of our town and our club! The event was a tremendous success!