Some 270 skaters will gather, next weekend, for the annual Let's Skate competition, with no less than 37 different clubs from across the province represented.
Naturally, the local contingent will be strong, with youngsters from across the Greater Sudbury region looking to cap off their season in style. Eight year old Brooke Campeau of the Valley East Skating Club is coming off a strong performance in North Bay last month, capturing gold in both the back spin and flip.
Time to identify other key priorities. "The focus has been on doing my spirals and my loop," noted the talkative athlete, who is roughly four years into her skating career. "It's coming really good, I just have to work at stopping at one point, and then jumping."
While moving from the comfort of a practice setting to the stressfulness of an arena audience on hand for the end product can be challenging for young skaters, Campeau, for one, seems to take it all in stride.
"l have learned so many new different skills, but sometimes in competition, I get a little nervous, and when I get nervous, sometimes I fall," she acknowledged. "But it really doesn't matter if you win or lose, it's just if you have fun or not."
"If you make friends with somebody, and they do better than you, that's OK." Spending the summer away from the rinks, Campeau plans on returning for another season of soccer, and perhaps taking some karate lessons.
Double the age of her teammate, Kalysta Saya has competed at Let's Skate many times over. Now at the point where her workouts often focus on perfecting various double jumps, Saya is hoping to hit the ice right in the middle of her particular grouping.
"I don't want to be the first one that has to start off and set the mood, but I don't want to be the last one who has all that waiting and gets nervous," said Saya. While there are some jumps with which the Valley East skater is comfortable, the double flip remains a tough nut to crack.
"It's the rotation, staying tight in the jump," she said. "You need more rotation, more pulling in." That said, part of the competition will involve her interpretive routine, as she moves to the haunting sounds of Chandelier by Sia.
"There's no jumps, so you just get to feel the music," said Saya. "I like more upbeat music, I'm not good with the slow stuff." Skating begins at 5:00 p.m. on Friday (April 10th), with the Junior and Senior Silver Women taking to the ice on Saturday evening, and the Men/Women Novice routines scheduled between 10:40 a.m. and 12:20 p.m. on Sunday.
The entire competition will take place at the Gerry McCrory Countryside Sports Complex.