Skate Amherstburg

Local skaters get taste of competition world



By Ron Giofu


Young and beginning skaters with Skate Amherstburg got a taste of the competition world last Friday night.

The organization presented its third annual “Mini-Fun Competition” Friday night at the Libro Centre and Skate Amherstburg board member Lauren Kawai stated that it involved around 30 skaters ranging in age from six to 12.

Entrants in the Feb. 23 Skate Amherstburg “Mini Fun Competition” take a bow after performing.

“We do this inter-club competition to get their feet wet in the competition world,” explained Kawai. “It gets them excited to be a part of competitions in the future.”

Kawai added that Skate Amherstburg hopes that it will not only build enjoyment for such competitions, it could lead to success as well.

“We hope it eases their transition into the big leagues,” she said. “They like (the Mini-Fun Competition). They get to wear pretty dresses and have their photos taken and the parents get to take videos.”

There were 19 events from jumps to cross cuts with competitors getting to choose which events suit them best.

Participants in the third annual Mini-Fun Competition being put on by Skate Amherstburg gather for awards Feb. 23 at the Libro Centre.

“It’s kind of like track-and-field style,” said Kawai. “They pick whichever events they’d like to enter. They picked two events each.”

Participants included Abby Warnock, Abigail Capeling, Addasyn Taylor, Adrean Dawson, Alivia Piper, Annabelle Roehrich, Ava Danelon, Cali Swinton, Dellah Bedal, Eden Pare, Emily Fox, Jolie Demars, Lainey Wood, Lauren Bondy, Lauren Colman, Lily Impens, Makayla Clarke, Mallory Bezaire, Paige Mayhew, Paige Paquette, Rae Demitroff, Regan Moniz, Samantha Bergeron, Sophia Bergeron, Teaghan Laframboise, Zoe Zdziarski, Charlotte Szewczuk, McKenna McDowell and Gracey Foster.

Skate Amherstburg hosting free public skate this Sunday evening

Special to the RTT

Happy 150th Birthday Canada! The birthday celebrations are not over yet!

Thanks to a Canada 150 grant, Skate Amherstburg is holding a free public skate day Dec. 10 from 6-8 p.m. Anyone and everyone of all ages and skill levels are welcome to attend! Helmets are recommended for young skaters and anyone that is new to being on the ice. There will be souvenirs, giveaways, and we will also be having a CanSkate demonstration on one end of the ice with our NCCP certified coaches.

This is a great way to try out the CanSkate program before signing up for our Winter session! Registration will be available in the lobby and our volunteers will be available to answer any questions. Winter CanSkate runs on Thursdays from 6:00-6:50 p.m. starting Jan. 4 and on Mondays from 6:25-7:15 p.m. starting Jan. 8. Cost for one night of CanSkate for 14 weeks is only $250! Every good Canadian should be able to skate so start your kids off with the best Learn-to-Skate program in Canada!

December 10 is a busy day for Skate Amherstburg as our Adult Synchronized Skating teams will be in Stratford! The Diamond Divas 1 and 3 will be competing in their first competition of the season. We wish them the best of luck as well as a safe drive there and back!


Town to consider its own surcharge recommendation for Libro Centre


By Ron Giofu

Town council has opted to consider its own recommendation for a new surcharge to be assessed to Libro Centre users.

In the process, they spurned a different proposal submitted by the building’s three main user groups – the Amherstburg Minor Hockey Association (AMHA), Skate Amherstburg and the Integrity Amherstburg Admirals.

According to a report from manager of recreation services Rick Daly, “administration proposed a capital surcharge outlined in the user fee bylaw” and “this capital surcharge is set at $6 per rental unit of time for sport facilities and park bookings and $3 per rental unit of time for room rentals.”

That option would see an estimated $25,350 collected in a year, as opposed to the other option, presented Monday night by AMHA president Marc Renaud. That option is estimated at collecting $26,648.

“We believe non-residents should pay more and adult users should pay more,” Renaud told town council. “Kids in sport stay out of court.”

Renaud said the option created by the three major users would require all three principal users to contract ice hours at a minimum100 hours per year. The principal rate user surcharge would have been $4 per hour to all hours rented on all ice surfaces from Sept. 1-April 30 annually and $10 per hour for all pads from May 1-Aug. 31.

For Amherstburg resident users that book ice rentals for a minimum of 12 hours per month would be set at $6 per hour for all pads. Casual non-resident users would pay a surcharge of $13 per hour of ice rentals.

Under the town’s proposal, Renaud said it would translate into a $21.82 cost per AMHA player and $13.50 for every Skate Amherstburg participant. Under the proposal he presented, Renaud said the numbers drop to $14.54 per player in AMHA and $9 per Skate Amherstburg participant.

According to the administrative report: “Administration recommends that Option #1 (the town’s recommendation) be approved as it is the most equitable and easiest to implement. The users would pay into the reserve equally based on rental levels.” The report added that “the fundamental difference in the structure of the reserve in Option 2 (presented by the primary users) is problematic, in that it doesn’t allow the town to deal with global building issues and only ice specific issues. Secondly, it creates inequality, as it doesn’t allow the users who are paying a disproportionate share much representation at the time the replacement is needed. In this case, you would have non-primary users subsidizing the future replacement of infrastructure to the benefit of the primary users.”

Councillor Rick Fryer said he supported the town’s recommendation, believing the $6 surcharge across the board is “fair” and that the people who use the Libro Centre most would pay a greater share of the surcharge.

“I don’t see this being a big issue with the user groups,” said Fryer.

Renaud reiterated his position that adult users should be paying more in order to keep youth in sports.

Councillor Jason Lavigne said he has three children who have played travel hockey and regardless of whether it is children or adults playing, the adults still pay the costs.

“You are kind of wishy-washy here,” Lavigne told Renaud.

Lavigne said the Libro Centre is the envy of the area but there are costs to keep it that way.

“We have to realize it costs money and we’re having issues here,” said Lavigne.

Councillor Leo Meloche believed the user groups’ options were “a burden to the non-primary users” and that the general taxpayers were paying “a pretty good share already” to maintain the Libro Centre. He said he didn’t find the user groups’ option to be unreasonable. Councillor Diane Pouget said “we try to be fair to everybody” and noted Daly’s report where it said the primary users had 54 per cent of the ice time in 2016 but would only pay 38 per cent of the total surcharge under their proposal.

Councillor Joan Courtney noted she has children and grandchildren who play hockey and believed that if a person can play hockey, they can afford to pay a little more. She noted there is money for hats and jackets and that “somehow they find the money” and didn’t believe the surcharge was unreasonable.

“To keep the Libro Centre a great facility, I don’t think it’s too much,” said Courtney.

CanSkate welcoming new participants


Chances are good that, by now, you’ve heard the name Michael DiPietro!

If not, he is a hockey goalie from Amherstburg that played for the Windsor Spitfires and won the Memorial Cup! He has now been drafted into the NHL by the Vancouver Canucks! Small town dreams do come true!

Michael, like so many other NHL players, got off to a great start by signing up for CanSkate! CanSkate provides the best foundation for any ice skating sport, whether it be hockey, figure skating, speed skating, or ringette.

CanSkate Parachute

CanSkate is Canada’s flagship learn-to-skate program. The program is open to all ages and no skating experience is required. CanSkate features circuits and games that make learning to skate a ton of fun! A typical CanSkate session provides a maximum coach to skater ratio of 1:10 and 90 per cent movement to keep skaters engaged. The CanSkate program is a nationally-tested and proven curriculum that guarantees skater success.

Skate Amherstburg offers two CanSkate sessions starting this fall! Mondays: 6:25-7:15 p.m., and Thursdays: 6-6:50 p.m. Registration is now open! You can register online at any time by visiting People can also register by phone by calling Lynn Fox at (519) 566-1574 or they can register in person at the Libro Centre in the Skate Amherstburg office.

Registration times are 5 p.m.-7 p.m. Sept. 8, 11, and 14.

Skate Amherstburg partnering with Admirals as part of busy summer


Special to the RTT

Summer is here! The sun is shining; the pools are open; ice cream trucks cruise the streets. There are plenty of ways to stay cool in the summer, but did you know that going skating is one of them? That’s right, the Libro Centre is putting the ice back in for the summer and Skate Amherstburg has numerous programs to offer!

From July 20 to August 31, Pre-StarSkate and StarSkate sessions will be running Mondays and Thursdays. CanSkate will be running on Thursdays along with our new CanPower program!

CanSkate Parachute

Skate Amherstburg and the Amherstburg Admirals are teaming up this summer to help get you ready for the hockey season! Skaters will learn proper technique going forwards and backwards, stopping, and turning. They will focus on producing speed and power, as well as improving balance and agility. Skaters must be able to skate forwards and backwards as a prerequisite, and full hockey gear is required.

Want to play hockey but not quite ready for CanPower? That’s what CanSkate is for! Skaters learn the fundamentals of skating through exciting circuits and games. CanSkate is the best start for any skater because it prepares you for hockey, figure skating, speed skating, and ringette. CanSkate can take you anywhere!

Registration for all Summer and Fall programs is open online now on our website at Don’t forget to like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter @Sk8Amherstburg and Instagram @skateamherstburg. If you have any questions about our programs, email us at