Build in gear: Calumet’s skating club growing

Provided photo Calumet Figure Skating Club members (back row, fromt left) Mikayla, Mary and Alli join (front row) Jenna, Cadence and Jamie in an ice show number.

oswell, a senior electrical engineering major at Michigan Tech, is a coach with the Calumet Figure Skating Club and has been in that position for two years. The club is open to anyone who wants to learn the fundamentals from the ages of 3-18 who wants to improve their skills in figure skating.

“I would say a big goal is improving everybody’s technique (so that they) can become great skaters,” she said. “(My) goal as a coach is to make sure that everybody is having a lot of fun on the ice while perfecting their skills and getting their technique down before (skaters) go onto the next level.

“Our youngest is three (and we have skaters all the way up to one who is a) graduating high school senior. I think (skaters) grow in communication as (we) figure out how to explain stuff to different age groups. The age groups interacting with each other (is unique).”

The club is not split up in to age groups, which allows for all different ages and skill levels to learn and interact with each other on the ice at the same time.

“There’s not a lot of settings where you have three-year-olds interacting with high schoolers on a daily basis,” she said. “It’s just (about) getting out there and talking to everybody and just making friends out on the ice, no matter the age difference.”

Skating ramps up in difficulty as individuals advance up the skill trees.

“It’s very physically (and) mentally demanding,” said Boswell. “When you get to higher jumps, you have to be able have the right amount of core (and) leg strength (while still) being able to tell yourself that you can do it, and believe it. Skating, a lot of it, I would say, is both mental and physical.”

Boswell and the rest of the coaching staff want to help instill a motivation in the younger skaters to push through and keep trying even on the hard days to keep getting up after a fall on the ice.

“(With) skating, you learn alot about time management so just having that time management is very helpful,” she said. “There’s a lot of discipline that goes into skating. There’s days when you don’t want to show up, but you know you have to show up. That’s just like the real world. Some days you don’t want to go to work or school, but you still do because you have that discipline that you were taught at a young age.

“You fall down a lot in skating, but (skaters) quickly learn that they have to get back up and try that element again until you can master it. There is a lot of teamwork with your (teammates) and coaches and that helps you work with people too.”

The Calumet Figure Skating Club kicks off their season in late October and concludes their season late March or early April with an end of the season ice show that allows all skaters to showcase what they have spent the season working on.

“A stand out moment this year was our end of the year ice show (and) just teaching the kids the basic skills like basic crossovers, (and) presenting to a crowd,” said Boswell. “Just seeing it all come together at the end, it showed me that what we were doing all year (paid) off in the ice show and made it really entertaining to watch.”

The Calumet Colosseum is a central skating location for the skaters and Boswell hopes that Hockeyville renovations help bring awareness to the club as it continues to grow. She would like to see future leaders implement testing into the club also.

“I think it will bring more awareness,” she said. “The Learn-to-Skate program is always bringing new people in, (so) I hope that Hockeyville will bring more (skaters) into the community to learn how to skate. I would say just try it out. It’s a fun sport and (can) be a stress reliever and is just something fun to do. It’s a good skill just to have and be able to do.”

“A goal of ours is to have kids start testing next year (in) moves in the field (and) dance testing and doing freestyle testing too, so it’s just (implementing) testing into the club. It would be nice to have (skaters) start doing basic skills competitions (as they are) starting to compete too.”