Welcome to the Saint John Skating Club's (SJSC) Learn-to-Skate Program. This Program has been developed and improved upon for over 50 years by our national organization, Skate Canada. All clubs, coaches and members become members of this organization once they become registered for a skating program.
What Is CanSkate?
CanSkate is a nationally standardized learn-to-skate program for ages 3 to 99 years that teaches fundamental movements and basic skills. It is available in all member Skate Canada skating clubs across Canada and delivered by trained certified professional coaches.
The Program Assistants (PAs) are volunteers who train annually and assist the coaches with the delivery of the program on-ice. These volunteers, usually skaters, have mastered the CanSkate program skills and have the minimum age of 12 years. In the SJSC, our Senior PAs are 12 years and older and assist our coaches in the development of our youngest members. Junior PAs are usually 10 and 11 years old and assist the Senior PAs and coaches. Our PA trainees are very keen 8 and 9 year olds who have graduated from the program and they assist everyone by retrieving teaching aids, incentives and most importantly of all, all those little people who are not steady on their feet.
When and Where Is CanSkate Offered?
The Canskate Program is 2 days a week, 45 minutes each day, and is offered at two locations. We offer an East side program at the Stewart Hurley Arena. Our West side program operates at the Peter Murray Arena (formerly Lancaster Centennial Arena).
You may only choose one program (East or West). If you wish for your child to skate more than two days a week, permission must be received from the Board of Directors and monetary arrangements will be made accordingly.
CanSkate skaters must skate the days they have chosen. If a skater misses skating time due to illness, personal holidays or appointments, etc., we are sorry, but they cannot make it up by skating other CanSkate sessions.
What is Pre-CanSkate?
The Pre-Canskate Program is 2 days a week, 30 minutes each day. It is for 3, 4, 5 year olds and runs during our CanSkate sessions.
When and Where is Pre-CanSkate Offered?
The Pre-Canskate Program is offered at two locations. We offer an East side program at the Stewart Hurley Arena. Our West side program operates at the Peter Murray Arena (formerly Lancaster Centennial Arena).
You may only choose one program (East or West), and you can only choose one session (Pre-CanSkate 1 or Pre-CanSkate 2). Pre-CanSkate skaters must skate the days they have chosen. If a skater misses skating time due to illness, personal holidays or appointments, etc., we are sorry, but they cannot make it up by skating other Pre-CanSkate sessions.
For Ice times, please see the Ice Schedule.
Parents/guardians are requested to remain in the arena for the duration of CanSkate sessions. Accidents can happen and even though our coaches are fully trained and certified in First Aid continually, it is nice to know that we can keep them on the ice once they have assessed and administered the appropriate First Aid to the skater.
It is compulsory for all Pre-Canskate/CanSkate/Advanced Canskate members to wear certified CSA helmets. Bicycle helmets are NOT accepted nor Multi-use snowboard/skateboard helmets. These helmets are only made for a one time hit. Chin protectors are also a good investment.
CanSkate skaters are requested to use the dressing rooms assigned to them. Signs are usually posted on the doors to indicate which rooms those are.
Occasionally some of our coaches are away at competitions, training sessions etc., with our Junior, Intermediate and/or Senior skaters. We do our best to provide a back-up coach but sometimes it can be difficult. Instead of our regular two coaches on the ice we may have one. Sometimes our assistants are away at the same time and we ask for your understanding on these short-handed days. (Usually only 1 or 2 a year) If you can help out on the ice (skates needed) on those days please let us know as soon as possible so that we can let you know what days these may be.
CanSkate skaters are arranged in groups according to skills mastered. These groups are arranged by colour and change approximately every 6-8 weeks. Assessing of skills is done daily by our coaches. Once a stage is mastered, a badge is issued. Report cards are given out in December and again at the end of the year. If a skater masters all 6 Stages before the end of the skating season, our CanSkate coach will notify you and advise as to the next step in skating.
Throughout the year our CanSkate coaches also like to have some Fun Days. Some of these in the past have been; summer in February, Crazy Helmet Day, Pajama Day and many more. Look for signage of these days and have some fun. Don't forget to bring your camera. Games are usually the order on these Fun Days.
The Saint John Skating Club also offers programs other than CanSkate. Once your child has completed all 6 Stages in CanSkate they can move into either our Group 3 (Junior) or Group 2 (Intermediate) programs. Our CanSkate coach will let you know when your child has mastered the necessary skills. These are Learn-to-Figure Skate programs which involve badges and formal Skate Canada tests. The difference between these two programs is cost and ice-time.
Skaters in the Junior program have more group oriented lessons than those in Intermediate. The Junior program registration fee includes a one half hour group lesson at each session. All lessons in the Intermediate program are billed by the base coach directly. Your registration fee at the beginning of the year only covers ice time. Once your child moves into one of these programs you must choose a base coach who will help guide you through your figure skating career.
More CanSkate Information
For more information on the CanSkate program, visit the Programs section on the Skate Canada web site.