Whether it's hot or cold outside, area residents interested in ice skating have the opportunity to learn from coaches and instructors at Jamestown Savings Bank Arena.
The Jamestown Skating Club is set to begin the next session of its Learn to Skate program on Wednesday at JSBA from 6-6:50 p.m. Classes run at the same time each Wednesday, and registration will be taken in the JSBA lobby up until 45 minutes before the session begins.
In addition to it being the first part of a seven-week session, the event is also the group's second annual Halloween On Ice. During the event, coaches and volunteers will dress in costume, and skaters are encouraged to as well. Prizes will be awarded to those with the best costumes. The session will begin with 15 minutes of free skate time, followed by 20 minutes of group instruction, and another 15 minutes of free skate time to practice the skills learned in the group lesson. Following the session, skaters will have the option of trick-or-treating around the arena.
Members of the Jamestown Skating Club are shown practicing during a Learn To Skate session at Jamestown Savings Bank Arena.
P-J photos by Dusten Rader
According to Julie Traniello, secretary of the Jamestown Skate Club board, the club offers eight different levels, as well as a pre-skate level, so anyone aged 4-94 can take lessons.
"We'll get them into whatever category they need to be put in," Traniello said. "We want people to know that the club is still here, and that we have great coaches."
The program puts skaters on the ice with coaches such as Brigitta Francoeur, who skated in the Ice Capades, and Anna Zelina, of Garland, Pa., who also hosts off-ice opportunities such as ballet. The club gives its skaters the opportunity to participate in competitions, and has seen 14 professional Disney On Ice skaters grow out of the club.
The Jamestown Skating Club also annually hosts events such as Skate Chautauqua, which is a United States Figure Skating sanctioned competition held in August, and Excellence On Ice, a figure skating show held in April. In December, the club will also host Skate Fest, which opens the ring of the JSBA to the first 200 attendees and puts them on the ice with Olympic skaters.
Menash Petscher, a Jamestown Skating Club member whose daughter participates in the learn to skate program, got his daughter involved so she could start learning basic figure skating moves.
"I really enjoy watching her, and she skates the whole time," Petscher said. "It's a great afterschool program that teaches them discipline, camaraderie, confidence and integrity."
According to Petscher, the club is also a great opportunity for those who want to play hockey.
"There are a lot of hockey kids that have been coming out because if you want to play hockey you first have to learn to skate," Petscher said. "This is great for the smaller kids who are learning to skate before they take on competitive hockey."
The cost of participation is $65 for a total of seven 50-minute Wednesday sessions. The cost will be prorated based on how many sessions participants attend. Parents are asked to be present during the sessions, and skates are provided.
The JSBA is located at 319 W. Third St. in Jamestown. For more information, call 484-2624, visit www.jsconice.com or search for "Jamestown Skating Club" on Facebook.