Ef­ford earns her spot at Canada Games

Bare­need teen ad­justs to life train­ing in Que­bec

The Compass - - SPORTS - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER

The Com­pass Skat­ing with renowned fig­ure skat­ing coach Josée Pi­card has had its ups and downs for Jenna Ef­ford.

The 13-year-old Bare­need na­tive has been work­ing with Pi­card for the past six months at Que­bec’s Sports Study Pro­gram of Ex­cel­lence since mov­ing to Cham­bly, Que., in June.

Ef­ford’s sched­ule would chal­lenge even the most har­dened veteran of the skat­ing game. Bal­anc­ing school and prac­tice, the stu­dent at Her­itage Re­gional High School in St. Hu­bert, Que., goes to school from 9 a.m to noon.

After an hour off for lunch, Ef­ford works out daily with Pi­card from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.

“Some days it can be hard,” said Ef­ford, who was re­cently named to New­found­land and Labrador’s Canada Win­ter Games fig­ure skat­ing team. “It is go­ing good though. She is push­ing me to my lim­its. “She is help­ing me be a bet­ter fig­ure skater.” Ad­mit­tedly, the gifted young ath­lete said there have been bad days where she has felt “it isn’t go­ing to go well.”

But, by speak­ing with her par­ents and trust­ing her coaches, Ef­ford pushes through the tough days.

“It’ll help me with my skat­ing in the end,” she said. “I know I can get through them.”

Liv­ing in Que­bec means ad­just­ing to a new lan­guage for Ef­ford. She said her French is com­ing along but it still needs work.

“Get­ting used to French is a lit­tle hard,” said Ef­ford. “But, I’m get­ting to know the lan­guage and my class­mates are help­ing me out.”

Get­ting faster

It can be a dif­fer­ent world for ath­letes from this prov­ince when they make the leap to train in a dif­fer­ent part of the coun­try.

There are new train­ing tips and ad­di­tional tech­niques to master. For Ef­ford, the move to La Belle Prov­ince opened her eyes to the level of train­ing it takes to reach the high­est lev­els.

“I have to be faster in my skat­ing,” she said. “When I first got here, I no­ticed ev­ery­one was mov­ing faster than they were in New­found­land.”

That is some­thing Ef­ford has fo­cused on dur­ing her half a year on the main­land.

Sub­mit­ted photo

Jenna Ef­ford com­pletes her short pro­gram rou­tine at the 2014 Cana­dian Chal­lenge, an event that qual­i­fied her to rep­re­sent New­found­land and Labrador at the 2015 Canada Win­ter Games.

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