Friendly rivalry keeps skaters on their toes

Sports Mar 22, 2017 by Sean Allen Brant News

For an individual sport like solo figure skating, members of the Brant Skating Club exude an unexpected atmosphere of teamwork, which extends beyond the confines of the club.

Liz Rogers, a 15-year-old skater with the club, brought home a silver medal from the Skate Ontario Championships on the weekend in Port Colborne. After crediting her coaches and her own hard work, Rogers acknowledges fellow BSC club skater Ainsley Cowan and one of her chief rivals from another club for helping her achieve the result at provincials.

“I’m a huge team-spirit person,” Rogers said. “Ainsley and my other friends at the club are so supportive of me. We like to talk and bounce ideas off each other.”

Equally important to Rogers as she goes through the competitive skating season is her friendly rivalry with Port Dover Skating Club competitor Sophia Slegers.

“We’re so funny when we get together,” Rogers said. “We practice against each other at the competitions and are always telling each other we’re the one who is going to win.”

Rogers and Cowan were told by their BSC coaches that they are the first representatives from the club to qualify for provincials in almost a decade.

Rogers earned the silver medal in the Star 5 over-13 competition with a 17.57 score from the judges for her All That Jazz solo routine that she’s been perfecting all season.

Cowan, 14, was 11th in a tightly contested Star 6 over-13 competition, earning a 20.67 score for her instrumental “jazzy” routine.

Star 6 is one step up from the Star 5 division, forcing skaters to add a third double-jump and 30 seconds to their routine compared to Star 5.

Cowan said earning the trip to provincials was a thrilling new experience for her.

“It’s a different environment than what I’ve competed at before,” she said.

Along the way to qualify for provincials, Cowan collected a silver medal and gold medal at competitions and earned the fourth — and final — berth to provincials at the Western Ontario Section StarSkate Championships.

She credits her coaches with pushing her along the way.

“It’s usually the same every year — I don’t do so well at first but get better with practice,” Cowan said. “My coaches tell me what I did wrong and I apply it the next time to fix it.”

Cowan decided to challenge herself by switching from Star 5 to Star 6 halfway through the competitive season.

For her part, Rogers managed to bring home six medals throughout the 2016-17 season, thanks in large part to ramping up her preparation.

To kick off the season, Rogers said that the Isabella Henderson Memorial Invitational in Paris isn’t a competition that figure skaters tend to enter lightly.

“It’s in September and we just start out our season in September,” she said. “But I made a deal with my coach that if I never got off the ice all summer, she’d let me go into that one.”

Rogers earned a third-place medal and started her friendly rivalry with Slegers there.

“(Slegers) got first (at Isabelle Henderson), and then I still didn’t beat her at John McKay (Memorial Invitational), but I got pretty darn close,” Rogers said of the late-November competition in Tillsonburg. “She had one better spin but we were still battling it out.”

Rogers finally edged out Slegers for the first time at St. Thomas' Dennis Silverthorne Memorial Invitational in February.

“I got her by one point,” Rogers said. “It’s been so great the way we are able to help push each other and bounce off each other.”

The two friends had some nervous moments at the Western Ontario qualifiers for provincials in Aylmer on Feb. 17. Rogers and Slegers were both in the early groups to skate, finishing second and third, respectively. But they had to sit and wait together as another 25 competitors tried to beat them.

“You could see the relief on our faces when it was over,” Rogers said.

For the provincials, Rogers said she practically never left the ice over March break to get prepared.

“I worked my butt off,” she said. “I fell during the competition and was upset, because I didn’t think I had done enough and didn’t think I had my best performance. When it was announced that I got second place, it was the best feeling ever.”

Rogers expects to move into Star 6 for next season, but is leaving the door open to move beyond that and compete at the open junior level, which would allow her to try to qualify for nationals.

Both Rogers and Cowan have featured roles in the upcoming Flashing Blades carnival on April 1 at the Brantford and District Civic Centre. The annual showcase carnival for the Brant Skating Club will have a Billboard Top 100 theme from the 1950s and 1960s for the senior skaters. Junior skaters will take on a Willy Wonka theme for the show.

Tickets are available from the civic centre box office, information desk at the Wayne Gretzky Sports Centre or from any BSC member for $15 ($10 for children). There will be a matinee performance at 1 p.m. and an evening show at 7 p.m.

“It’s still a bit stressful,” Rogers said. “But that’s because I want to perform my best in front of the big audience. I love being out there and skating in front of people."

Friendly rivalry keeps skaters on their toes

Two Brant Skating Club members earn trip to provincials

Sports Mar 22, 2017 by Sean Allen Brant News

For an individual sport like solo figure skating, members of the Brant Skating Club exude an unexpected atmosphere of teamwork, which extends beyond the confines of the club.

Liz Rogers, a 15-year-old skater with the club, brought home a silver medal from the Skate Ontario Championships on the weekend in Port Colborne. After crediting her coaches and her own hard work, Rogers acknowledges fellow BSC club skater Ainsley Cowan and one of her chief rivals from another club for helping her achieve the result at provincials.

“I’m a huge team-spirit person,” Rogers said. “Ainsley and my other friends at the club are so supportive of me. We like to talk and bounce ideas off each other.”

Equally important to Rogers as she goes through the competitive skating season is her friendly rivalry with Port Dover Skating Club competitor Sophia Slegers.

“We’re so funny when we get together,” Rogers said. “We practice against each other at the competitions and are always telling each other we’re the one who is going to win.”

Rogers and Cowan were told by their BSC coaches that they are the first representatives from the club to qualify for provincials in almost a decade.

Rogers earned the silver medal in the Star 5 over-13 competition with a 17.57 score from the judges for her All That Jazz solo routine that she’s been perfecting all season.

Cowan, 14, was 11th in a tightly contested Star 6 over-13 competition, earning a 20.67 score for her instrumental “jazzy” routine.

Star 6 is one step up from the Star 5 division, forcing skaters to add a third double-jump and 30 seconds to their routine compared to Star 5.

Cowan said earning the trip to provincials was a thrilling new experience for her.

“It’s a different environment than what I’ve competed at before,” she said.

Along the way to qualify for provincials, Cowan collected a silver medal and gold medal at competitions and earned the fourth — and final — berth to provincials at the Western Ontario Section StarSkate Championships.

She credits her coaches with pushing her along the way.

“It’s usually the same every year — I don’t do so well at first but get better with practice,” Cowan said. “My coaches tell me what I did wrong and I apply it the next time to fix it.”

Cowan decided to challenge herself by switching from Star 5 to Star 6 halfway through the competitive season.

For her part, Rogers managed to bring home six medals throughout the 2016-17 season, thanks in large part to ramping up her preparation.

To kick off the season, Rogers said that the Isabella Henderson Memorial Invitational in Paris isn’t a competition that figure skaters tend to enter lightly.

“It’s in September and we just start out our season in September,” she said. “But I made a deal with my coach that if I never got off the ice all summer, she’d let me go into that one.”

Rogers earned a third-place medal and started her friendly rivalry with Slegers there.

“(Slegers) got first (at Isabelle Henderson), and then I still didn’t beat her at John McKay (Memorial Invitational), but I got pretty darn close,” Rogers said of the late-November competition in Tillsonburg. “She had one better spin but we were still battling it out.”

Rogers finally edged out Slegers for the first time at St. Thomas' Dennis Silverthorne Memorial Invitational in February.

“I got her by one point,” Rogers said. “It’s been so great the way we are able to help push each other and bounce off each other.”

The two friends had some nervous moments at the Western Ontario qualifiers for provincials in Aylmer on Feb. 17. Rogers and Slegers were both in the early groups to skate, finishing second and third, respectively. But they had to sit and wait together as another 25 competitors tried to beat them.

“You could see the relief on our faces when it was over,” Rogers said.

For the provincials, Rogers said she practically never left the ice over March break to get prepared.

“I worked my butt off,” she said. “I fell during the competition and was upset, because I didn’t think I had done enough and didn’t think I had my best performance. When it was announced that I got second place, it was the best feeling ever.”

Rogers expects to move into Star 6 for next season, but is leaving the door open to move beyond that and compete at the open junior level, which would allow her to try to qualify for nationals.

Both Rogers and Cowan have featured roles in the upcoming Flashing Blades carnival on April 1 at the Brantford and District Civic Centre. The annual showcase carnival for the Brant Skating Club will have a Billboard Top 100 theme from the 1950s and 1960s for the senior skaters. Junior skaters will take on a Willy Wonka theme for the show.

Tickets are available from the civic centre box office, information desk at the Wayne Gretzky Sports Centre or from any BSC member for $15 ($10 for children). There will be a matinee performance at 1 p.m. and an evening show at 7 p.m.

“It’s still a bit stressful,” Rogers said. “But that’s because I want to perform my best in front of the big audience. I love being out there and skating in front of people."

Friendly rivalry keeps skaters on their toes

Two Brant Skating Club members earn trip to provincials

Sports Mar 22, 2017 by Sean Allen Brant News

For an individual sport like solo figure skating, members of the Brant Skating Club exude an unexpected atmosphere of teamwork, which extends beyond the confines of the club.

Liz Rogers, a 15-year-old skater with the club, brought home a silver medal from the Skate Ontario Championships on the weekend in Port Colborne. After crediting her coaches and her own hard work, Rogers acknowledges fellow BSC club skater Ainsley Cowan and one of her chief rivals from another club for helping her achieve the result at provincials.

“I’m a huge team-spirit person,” Rogers said. “Ainsley and my other friends at the club are so supportive of me. We like to talk and bounce ideas off each other.”

Equally important to Rogers as she goes through the competitive skating season is her friendly rivalry with Port Dover Skating Club competitor Sophia Slegers.

“We’re so funny when we get together,” Rogers said. “We practice against each other at the competitions and are always telling each other we’re the one who is going to win.”

Rogers and Cowan were told by their BSC coaches that they are the first representatives from the club to qualify for provincials in almost a decade.

Rogers earned the silver medal in the Star 5 over-13 competition with a 17.57 score from the judges for her All That Jazz solo routine that she’s been perfecting all season.

Cowan, 14, was 11th in a tightly contested Star 6 over-13 competition, earning a 20.67 score for her instrumental “jazzy” routine.

Star 6 is one step up from the Star 5 division, forcing skaters to add a third double-jump and 30 seconds to their routine compared to Star 5.

Cowan said earning the trip to provincials was a thrilling new experience for her.

“It’s a different environment than what I’ve competed at before,” she said.

Along the way to qualify for provincials, Cowan collected a silver medal and gold medal at competitions and earned the fourth — and final — berth to provincials at the Western Ontario Section StarSkate Championships.

She credits her coaches with pushing her along the way.

“It’s usually the same every year — I don’t do so well at first but get better with practice,” Cowan said. “My coaches tell me what I did wrong and I apply it the next time to fix it.”

Cowan decided to challenge herself by switching from Star 5 to Star 6 halfway through the competitive season.

For her part, Rogers managed to bring home six medals throughout the 2016-17 season, thanks in large part to ramping up her preparation.

To kick off the season, Rogers said that the Isabella Henderson Memorial Invitational in Paris isn’t a competition that figure skaters tend to enter lightly.

“It’s in September and we just start out our season in September,” she said. “But I made a deal with my coach that if I never got off the ice all summer, she’d let me go into that one.”

Rogers earned a third-place medal and started her friendly rivalry with Slegers there.

“(Slegers) got first (at Isabelle Henderson), and then I still didn’t beat her at John McKay (Memorial Invitational), but I got pretty darn close,” Rogers said of the late-November competition in Tillsonburg. “She had one better spin but we were still battling it out.”

Rogers finally edged out Slegers for the first time at St. Thomas' Dennis Silverthorne Memorial Invitational in February.

“I got her by one point,” Rogers said. “It’s been so great the way we are able to help push each other and bounce off each other.”

The two friends had some nervous moments at the Western Ontario qualifiers for provincials in Aylmer on Feb. 17. Rogers and Slegers were both in the early groups to skate, finishing second and third, respectively. But they had to sit and wait together as another 25 competitors tried to beat them.

“You could see the relief on our faces when it was over,” Rogers said.

For the provincials, Rogers said she practically never left the ice over March break to get prepared.

“I worked my butt off,” she said. “I fell during the competition and was upset, because I didn’t think I had done enough and didn’t think I had my best performance. When it was announced that I got second place, it was the best feeling ever.”

Rogers expects to move into Star 6 for next season, but is leaving the door open to move beyond that and compete at the open junior level, which would allow her to try to qualify for nationals.

Both Rogers and Cowan have featured roles in the upcoming Flashing Blades carnival on April 1 at the Brantford and District Civic Centre. The annual showcase carnival for the Brant Skating Club will have a Billboard Top 100 theme from the 1950s and 1960s for the senior skaters. Junior skaters will take on a Willy Wonka theme for the show.

Tickets are available from the civic centre box office, information desk at the Wayne Gretzky Sports Centre or from any BSC member for $15 ($10 for children). There will be a matinee performance at 1 p.m. and an evening show at 7 p.m.

“It’s still a bit stressful,” Rogers said. “But that’s because I want to perform my best in front of the big audience. I love being out there and skating in front of people."