January 15th, 2021

A clinic for all ages

By Woodard, Dale on February 8, 2020.

Dale Woodard

Lethbridge Herald


This particular group of students spanned all the ages.

And Kurt Browning was happy to lend his expertise.

The Olympian, and four-time world and Canadian champion figure skater was at Nicholas Sheran Arena Friday lending some world-class pointers to local skaters as part of a two-day seminar hosted by the Lethbridge Skating Club.

Nearly 100 skaters and coaches took advantage of some one-on-one instruction that included some first-hand looks and some dazzling jumps the skaters also tried as well as a group photo at the end of each session.

But there was one age group Browning was particularly looking forward to sharing some pointers with.

“Today is very special because I don’t have seminars with as much versatility in age,” said Browning. “So I’m working more with coaches at this seminar and there are going to be some adults tonight that are going to come out on the ice. So literally this is the first time in my life I’ve had this broad of a range and I’m looking forward to it because I think adults are brave. It’s a hard sport to pick up later in life and keep going because there is that risk of that fall. So they have a lot of respect for me and I look forward to working with them.”

No matter what the age, though, getting the chance to visit local clubs is the equivalent of a little time travel.

“It’s a little bit like going back in time, because I can remember seminars when I was 14 and it’s intimidating because you’re standing around with other good skaters that are from farther away places than your home and you haven’t met them before and you’re king of comparing yourself to them and you’ve got somebody that you may or may not have seen on TV,” said Browning. “Sometimes I try to get them to laugh and other times my humour just scares them, so it’s a big adventure. But my seminars are as much about having fun with your skating and learning how to bring your skating to the next level. (It’s) more ‘We’re going to get that jump for you today.’ It’s more about the joy of figure skating and the musicality of it. It’s a very unusual, special sport and I want them all to feel proud about themselves because they should. So that’s what we do.”

Today, Browning will be at city hall for An Afternoon Chat With Kurt Browning taking place in the foyer from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The cost for the event is $20 per person. Tickets are available online at http://www.lethbridgeskating.com.

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