Trin­ity Pla­cen­tia Fig­ure Skat­ing Club cel­e­brates 35th An­niver­sary

The Compass - - ORTHTE - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER THE COM­PASS

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.”

Cov­er­age area

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.

Good coach­ing

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.

nmercer@cb­n­com­pass.ca

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