Trinity Placentia Figure Skating Club celebrates 35th Anniversary
The Trinity Placentia Figure Skating Club is gearing up to celebrate a significant milestone in the club’s history.
Over the course of the skating season, TPFSC has been celebrating it’s 35th anniversary and will be capping it off with it’s annual ice show on March 24 at the Trinity-Placentia Stadium in Whitbourne.
It will be a celebration of both the successful year had by the club, and being around for three-plus decades. It has been a banner year for TPFSC. The club has seen its numbers well to some 200 skaters from young children to adults.
“It’s our biggest enrolment yet,” said first-year president Bobbi-Lynn Deering.
In her seven years with the club, Deering said she has seen some drastic growth over that time.
“The club has doubled in the last seven years,” she stated. “There has been a lot of new faces.”
Of those 200 skaters, the club has had a number of significant accomplishments over it’s 35th year.
This year, the TP Explosions were the cream of the crop for the club.
In January, the synchro team staked its claim as one of the finest pre-novice teams in the Atlantic provinces after capturing the Atlantic title at the 2013 Atlantic Synchronized Championships held in East Hants, Nova Scotia.
Then, the team went searching for its fourth straight provincial synchro title but fell up short, taking second place in the competition.
In the adult II division, the TP Rusty Edges picked up a silver medal in the provincial competition, while the TP Flames captured a bronze in the juvenile division.
The TP Sparks took a silver in the beginners I division.
Individually, Erica Newhook (pre-preliminary I women under-19) and Shannyn Reid (preliminary women under-19) picked up medals at the 2013 Skate Newfoundland and Labrador Junior Provincials.
Newhook took gold in her division and Reid grabbed the silver.
In the provincial championships, the club also had success as Robin Jackson and Leia Branton won silver medals.
“We’ve done marvelous at provincial competitions,” said Deering. “It all comes down to the hard work of the coaches and the kids.”
Based in Whitbourne, the club has been an outlet for physical activity and figure skating excellence for young athletes from Markland to Cavendish and from Whitbourne to Long Harbour since 1978.
“We even get some skaters from St. John’s,” said Deering.
It is a tribute to the high standards set by the club that it attracts skaters from as far as an hour away from the rink.
When it was created 35 years ago, there was a need for the club. Just five years prior, the Conception Bay North Skating Club started in CBN.
With the opening of the Trinity Placentia Stadium the fall of 1977, ice time became available for the club.
Deering had high praise for the work of all four of the club’s coaches — Dana Smith, Jenny Lee George, Jennifer Hutchings and Karen Pinsent.
“We are fortunate as a club to have such dedicated coaches,” she said.
Smith is the head coach and plans on retiring at the end of this season.
Deering said Smith has been a huge asset to the club.
“Without Dana, the success of our club wouldn’t be there,” she said. “She is very dedicated to the club and she is always there to answer any questions anyone should have.”
A growing program
The TPFSC introduced a new program for this season.
It introduced a pre-can skate gram for skaters as young as four.
Deering said this pre-can skate has been a big hit with young athletes.
It has allowed them to learn the nuances of skating while having a bit of fun as well.
“They’re putting in a little play time too, especially for the small, small children,” said Deering.
The club currently skates on Monday, Tuesday and Friday, and Deering can see the allure of athletes rising.
“There are so many kids interested,” she said.
There are so many benefits to children in figure skating, said Deering.
“It’s an enrichment program and kids create friends,” she said.
The TPFSC Annual Ice Show is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Sunday, March 24.