Quesnel figure Skater Mitchell Dunn practises before the 2020 B.C. Winter Games. For the upcoming season, coaches will need to maintain distance as much as possible to prevent COVID-19 transmission. (File Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)

Quesnel skating jumps back on the ice

The Quesnel Figure Skating Club’s season will begin soon, with COVID-19 precautions in place

Figure skaters in Quesnel will be on the ice this week, taking precautions to ensure a lower risk of COVID-19 transmission.

The president of the Quesnel Figure Skating Club, Lynne Dunn, said the club is taking a cautious approach to any potential return, planning their season in eight-week chunks.

“Figure skating is an individual sport, so it’s easier to maintain physical distancing,” she said.

While competitors will be back practising, the CanSkate program which teaches kids the basics of skating will be held off for at least eight weeks.

“We’re just trying to be very careful with how we proceed,” Dunn said.

Parents and other spectators will not be allowed inside the building during practices.

There will also be a limit on how many skaters are allowed on the ice at a time, and coaches will be giving advice from afar.

“Typically when coaches are coaching, they’re hands on, they’re skating right beside the skaters; now, they have to be back,” Dunn said. “Now, everyone has to physically distance … it’s the same as in the community.”

The club’s coaches left in the summer, so they’ll be relying on four part-time coaches filling in.

Dunn said the club was lucky to have those coaches to rely on, as hiring a new full-time coach is challenging.

“All of our coaches have to be Skate Canada-certified, and all the coaching courses were canceled,” Dunn said. “People who we might have tried to recruit have not been able to complete the course.”

Provincial numbers of adjudicators for dance levels are also low, so those assessments have been put on hold as well.

Most skaters in Quesnel will not be participating in competitions until at least January.

READ MORE: Quesnel Figure Skating Club receives grant to provide equipment to less fortunate

READ MORE: Quesnel figure skater headed to B.C. Winter Games

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: cassidy.dankochik@quesnelobserver.com


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