Efford earns her spot at Canada Games
Bareneed teen adjusts to life training in Quebec
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.”
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.
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.