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CanSkate Program Frequently Asked Questions

Hello Parents/Guardians,

Welcome to the CanSkate Program!

We would like to take this opportunity to let you know a bit about the program at our club, and to answer some frequently asked questions. 

Q - What is CanSkate?

A - CanSkate is a learn-to-skate program designed by Skate Canada and run by nationally certified coaches. Skaters will learn to skate using balance, control and agility skills using on-ice circuits to encourage both continuous movement and the incorporation of new skating skills. In addition to the use of circuits, the CanSkate Program also incorporates games, warm-up and cool down activities, all set to fun and engaging music. 

Q- What skills will skaters learn in CanSkate?

A - Skaters will learn skills such as:

  • Fall down & get up
  • Skate Forward
  • Skate Backwards
  • Gliding
  • Jumping
  • Spins
  • Turns
  • And much, much more!

Q - What does my skater need to bring to the rink for their lesson?

A - Skaters must have the following items:

  • Skates,
  • Warm clothing (snow pants/splash pants are great for new skaters to keep dry)
  • Mitts or gloves,
  • A valid CSA approved hockey helmet that is not expired.
    • A CSA approved helmet will have an approval sticker on it with an expiry date.

Q - Who are the helpers on the ice?

A - The helpers are called Program Assistants (PA’s for short). They are older and/or more experienced skaters who volunteer with the club to help make the program a success. They are not coaches. The PA’s help to set-up and run circuits, lead warm-up and cool down, organize games, take attendance, etc. They may not run a session without a coach present on the ice, or evaluate a skater’s abilities.

Q - How many stages are in CanSkate?

A - CanSkate is made up of 6 badge levels with Stage 1 being the easiest and Stage 6 being the most challenging. Skaters will work towards completing balance, control and agility skills which will earn them a ribbon in each of those categories. Once a skater has completed all three ribbons, they will have earned the badge for that particular stage, and then they will be moving on to the next stage in the program.

Q- Do skaters receive any report cards?

A - Yes! Your skater will be assessed throughout the session, and will receive a report card so you can track their progress through this exciting program.

Q - Can a skater earn a ribbon even if they don’t complete a full badge level?

A - Yes, it is possible and very common for a skater to earn ribbons and not earn a badge. The ribbons are incentive for the skaters to keep working towards the badge.

Q - Does CanSkate focus on any particular skating discipline (for example: hockey or figure skating?)

A - CanSkate is designed to provide participants with basic skating skills. As they progress, they can choose a skating discipline about which they are passionate, but the program doesn’t favour a specific skating discipline. As skaters attain higher badge levels, the skills that are assessed begin introducing some optional specialized skills suited more specifically to figure skating / hockey/ speed skating.

Some skating disciplines include:

  • Figure Skating
  • Speed Skating
  • Hockey and/or Power Skating
  • Recreational Skating

Q - Is skating ever cancelled due to bad weather?

A - Safety is our number one priority, on and off of the ice. If the weather is poor, we might need to cancel a lesson for the safety of our participants, coaches, and program assistants (PA’s).

Any cancellations will be posted on the club Facebook page by 2:00 pm, the day of cancellation. The facebook page is: Almonte and Carleton Place Skating Club, so please be sure to check the page before you head to the rink.

Q - If a session gets cancelled, will there be a make-up date?

A - We will always try to reschedule any lost sessions, however; booking additional ice time is not always possible. Skate Canada requires 10 classes to run a full CanSkate session, so we run our program for more than 10 sessions in the event we are unable to reschedule.

Q - Am I allowed to leave the arena while my skater is in a lesson?

A - As mentioned earlier in this document, safety is our priority – we require that parents remain in the arena for the duration of the CanSkate session, preferably in an easily accessible/highly visible location.

If a participant is injured, the coach/coaches must stay on the ice with the remaining skaters according to Skate Canada rules, and we want the injured participant to receive the required attention, medical or otherwise, as quickly as possible. 

Q - Can I come on the ice until my skater is feeling comfortable in the class?

A - No, only coaches, program assistants and skaters may come on the ice. We do not have insurance for parents should something happen.

Skating is such an amazing sport and we are so glad you have decided enroll your skater in this exciting program. Please contact a coach or executive member if you have any other questions.

Thank you kindly,

The Almonte and Carleton Place Skating Club

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