The world only tends to see the glamorous side of figure skating: the graceful choreography, the elegant outfits, and the tears of joy shared between skater and coach after nailing an incredible program. The other 99% of the sport is far less glittering. A competitive skater will train all year round, five to six days a week, often waking up at the crack of dawn to be on the ice for as long as they possibly can.
Constantly striving to get to the next level, skaters have to push their limits and abilities, leading to bumps and bruises. Figure skating, perhaps more than any other sport, requires dedication, passion, and most importantly, a love of the sport. For 54 years and counting, coaches at the Coquitlam Skating Club have injected their passion and dedication into their skaters, which has fuelled the love of the sport that it requires.
Any Canadian skater’s training typically begins at a young age in Canskate, Skate Canada’s “Learn to Skate” program moving through to the Star Skate system, in which they take tests and learn to compete. The next step is Skate Canada’s competitive system working their way up the national ranks.
“What makes the Coquitlam Skating Club unique is that all of the members of the senior coaching staff coach from the Canskate level, all the way to the elite levels of competition” says Yolanda Leggiadro, Club Office Manager. Every coach has at one point been an elite skater, and each of their journeys’ began at a young age. Each coach knows the level of determination and passion that it takes at every step of the way, because they have personally made it to elite levels. More importantly, they have taken their love of skating as athletes into their careers as coaches, and this makes each skater a coach that is passionate about their development. These coaches also pass their knowledge and skill over to the up and coming Junior Coaches who are usually our own Elite skaters who want an opportunity to pass on their knowledge and skill too, therefore, a never ending cycle.
Most coaches of the Coquitlam Skating Club’s senior staff have spent decades with the club, and working together, they have instructed elite talent that has gone on to have success at national and international levels. It is a diverse group of coaches with different backgrounds, but one thing they certainly have in common is a love of the sport of skating and a passion to develop skaters to become the best that they can possibly be.