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Thursday, January 12, 2006

Skaters and School

Now that the school term has started, the rink is once again peaceful in the mornings!

An observation: skaters here have a hard time - with juggling skating (on decent ice), school, homework and other extra-curricular activities at school! Public schools require students to participate in at least one extra-curricular activities - now called co-curricular activity. As the name implies students don't really have a choice not to do it!

Yes, you guessed it - in most schools, figure skating does not count as an accepted co-curricular activity. Most skaters I know have something else they are doing.

However, what is even more interesting is how skaters are affected by the school sessions. Many public schools operate two sessions - the morning and afternoon sessions. Some years, students would be in morning session, and other years they would be in afternoon session. This usually alternates, which means that I would see skaters in the morning one year, and no longer the next!

Given that the quiet times, with decent ice, are in the mornings, high-level skaters are elated if they are in the afternoon session at school. Indeed, I have seen skaters improve in leaps and bounds the one year they are in the afternoon session, only to stagnate the following year when they are forced to eke out lesson time from their coach during busier afternoon/evening times.

This year, my coach seems uncharacteristically free in the mornings. The few kids he has are lower-level... but I'm keeping my eyes peeled for their rapid improvement!

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