Skate Amherstburg

Deveau-Winfield Synchronized Skating Competition hosted by Skate Amherstburg

By Jonathan Martin


Dozens of skaters between the ages of six to 60 showed their skill last weekend at the 2018 Deveau-Winfield Synchronized Skating Competition.

More than 60 teams competed in the event, with Amherstburg’s Starlights – pre-novice placing ninth, Starlights – development receiving a silver assessment, Diamond Divas 1 winning second and Diamond Divas 3 snagging fourth.

Shelley Niznik is a technical representative with Skate Canada.  She organizes the event’s judges.

“There are two aspects to a judging,” she said.  “First, you have the judging, which deals with how well the elements of a skate are performed.  There’s also a technical side, with three people on that panel, which deals with what (the skaters) do.  They give numbers based on the skaters’ levels of skill.”

The 2018 Deveau-Winfield Synchronized Skating Competition was hosted by Skate Amherstburg at the Libro Centre last weekend. Amherstburg was represented by the Starlights and Diamond Divas.

She said the two groups assign separate scores, which are then joined together into one number.  The final score is then announced.

Two-time World Synchronized Skating Championships winners NEXXICE also performed, giving the audience a chance to preview the routines they’ll use to try for a third win when they represent Canada again next month.

Sharon Kawai, Skate Amherstburg’s sychro committee chair, said the sport, whether performed in a local arena or on the world stage, is all about teamwork.

“Our original Starlights are skating today,” she said.  “They’re in their 20s now.  They’ve been skating together – they’ve been friends – for 12 years.”

As skaters grow up, Kawai said they move into different age brackets.  The original Starlights she mentioned are now in the Adult 1 level.

Kawai said the event, overall, was a success. She estimated that around 1,500 people packed into the Libro Centre’s stands to watch the skaters perform – a good deal more than in 2015, which is the last time Amherstburg hosted the Deveau-Winfield Synchronized Skating Competition.

“We’ll definitely bid to host again,” she said.  “But probably not next year.  I’m exhausted.”

According to her FitBit, her daily step goal was reached within three hours.


“Battle of the Bands” showcases skating skills


Skate Amherstburg held its 47th annual ice carnival March 25 at the Libro Centre.


This year’s theme was “Battle of the Bands” with skaters from all levels participating and showing what they have learned this skating season.

The Libro Centre was bustling with activity as Skate Amherstburg also hosted the Deveau-Winfield Synchronized Skating Competition the same weekend.

There is a full page of colour photos in the March 28 print issue of the skating carnival.

A Facebook album will be added soon.

Photos were taken by Jonathan Martin.

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.