For higher level CanSkate and Junior senior queries, try the Skater’s Guide! There’s also more information about skating programs on the Skate Canada website.
The skater’s ability is continuously evaluated by the coaches, and if at any stage they demonstrate they have the skills to progress to the next badge level they will move upwards. At the beginning of the 10-week session, skaters are allocated into groups based on ability, and previous badge levels. For those new to the program who have previously skated, they can quickly pass through the badge levels until they reach a level that matches their ability. Towards the end of the 10-week session (usually week 9), the skaters are all evaluated by the professional coaches, and a progress report is prepared to hand out on the final session.
Each CanSkate session follows a standard routine. Skaters get on the ice and skate around for a few minutes. They then all gather at the center for a brief warm-up and then are split into groups based on badge level. Each group works with a program assistant, under the supervision of a professional coach. We limit our sessions to a maximum of 50 skaters, and each group is less than 10 skaters. Each professional coach is responsible for generally no more than 20 skaters. Thus the professional coach, in general, will spend 10 -15 minutes with each group (although this is flexible). Generally, the groups are arranged on the ice with the lower levels at one end of the ice, and the highest level at the other.
Our CanSkate sessions operate under the direction of Skate Canada registered professional coaches. The process of becoming a professional coach is rigorous with at least 12 months of training. All professional coaches have current first-aid and are responsible for the safety of the skaters on the ice. They are supported by program assistants. Program assistants are volunteers drawn from our more advanced skaters. To volunteer as a program assistant skaters must be 12 years old, and must attend a training session. 1st-year program assistants mostly operate as helpers to more experienced program assistants. Parents who have questions or concerns about their skater or the conduct of the sessions should aim to discuss their concerns with one of the professional coaches, not the program assistants.
Skate Canada writes “Selecting a proper CSA approved helmet should be the most important criteria when selecting the right helmet for your child. Owning a CSA approved helmet should be paramount to all other reasoning (including comfort or convenience) as to the type of helmet to wear or not to wear. The coverage of the head that is provided by a CSA approved hockey helmet is by far the best; a bicycle helmet, in comparison, does not give full coverage around the entire head. The concern with any helmet other than an approved hockey helmet is the lack of protection on the lower portions of the head that have a tendency to be injured. It should also be noted that a hockey helmet is designed to withstand repeated bumps and protect against penetration. A bicycle helmet once involved in an accident should be discarded. Consideration should also be given to further protection by installing face protectors on the front of the helmets. Although face protectors are not essential, chin guards are highly recommended in the CanSkate program due to certain skating skills that are required at the level. Claims received by our insurance company have also shown that eye protection would also be beneficial.”
The Government of Canada proposes to allow, starting in 2007, a non-refundable tax credit on eligible amounts of up to $500 paid by parents to register a child in an eligible program of physical activity.
For more information visit these Government of Canada web sites.
Please note however the following information from the web sites above:-
“Starting in 2007, you should receive, or ask for, a receipt from organizations providing eligible programs of physical activity in which your child is enrolled. The organizations will determine the part of the fee that qualifies for the tax credit.”
“To be eligible for the children’s fitness tax credit, the fees must be paid for a child who is under 16 at any time in the year. The fees must relate to the cost of registration or membership in an eligible program of physical fitness activity.”
“Receipt for income tax purposes should be issued for amounts paid in 2007 only. Amounts paid in 2006 do not qualify even if all or part of the activity takes place in 2007. “
You can print your tax receipts from the Skate Canada members Only web site as follows:-
- Log on to Skate Canada Website
- Hit “Members Only” login (top of home page)
- Members Login # – enter your child’s Skate Canada Number (10 digits)
- Password – your child’s last name (you will then be prompted to change this password).
- Hit – Continue to Main Menu
- Hit – Personal Profile
- Hit – Member Information
- Hit – General Information
- Hit – Child Tax Credit Receipt
- Hit- Print Receipt.
If you do not know your child’s Skate Canada number, please call our office at 579-1923 or e-mail us.
When you come on the ice for your child’s Pre-skate class you will be given a colour dot which assigns him/her to a group and an area of the ice. We usually have up to 15 children for one professional coach and an amateur Program Assistant with 3 groups on the ice. Our format for this Program age is play orientated with parent assistance. Parents can ‘wean’ themselves away when the children are ready. We encourage this with the 4-year-olds and the ones that show more independence, but we rely on ‘helping the parents’ help the skaters for the more timid ones. There is always a trial period and we have found that it takes 3 to 4 weeks for the skaters to get used to the idea of skating.
Action, movement, and fun! Lessons are given in a group format with a coach-to-student ratio of a maximum of 1:10. Skaters progress at their own rate and coaches make sessions active using teaching aids, upbeat music and a wide variety of activities that create a motivational environment and promote learning. Badges, ribbons and other incentives are used to benchmark skaters’ progress and reward effort and participation.
All you need are skates, a CSA-approved hockey helmet, long pants, mittens, warm sweater or jacket. Dress in layers – it will get warm!
CanSkate is a dynamic learn-to-skate program that focuses on fun, participation and basic skill development. Based on Sport Canada’s long term athlete development (LTAD) principles, CanSkate centers on physical literacy and the fundamental skills needed to take part in any ice sport or to skate as a recreational activity.
Both programs are designed to teach basic skating skills. At the lower levels, the programs are very similar- emphasizing the basic skills of skating forward and backward and stopping. The main difference at the beginner level is that CanPower skaters wear full hockey equipment. As the skater progresses, the program diverges, with CanPower emphasizing speed, quick turns and stops, and CanSkate teaching skills more common in figure skating – jumps and spins.
Both programs are very effective and teaching basic skating skills, and a skater can switch from CanSkate to CanPower later if their main interest is hockey.
These are two branches of the same program, separated on the basis of age. Generally, kids 3 and 4 years old are less willing to take the ice without a parent being present and have a relatively shorter attention span. Thus we encourage parents, with or without skates to accompany their child onto the ice in Preskate, and the sessions only last 30 minutes with a strong emphasis on play.
CanSkate is designed mainly for those 5 and up, who are happy going onto the ice unaccompanied, but the program is designed for a range of abilities, including those who have never skated.
The age is used as a guideline only and we leave it to the parents’ judgment as to which program is best suited to a skater who is 4 years old or more. We try to be flexible and if the program you start it is not working our encourage switching between CanSkate and PreSkate, and vice versa.
A complete series of balance, control, and agility skills taught in six stages of learning that pertain to hockey, ringette, speed skating and figure skating as well as general recreational skating. CanSkate uses nationally-tested and proven curriculum and delivery methods that guarantee skater success in developing stronger basic skills and developing them faster.
For beginners of all ages, children or adults, as well as for those wishing to improve their basic skills whether their focus is for figure skating, hockey, speed skating or just skating for fun.
NCCP-trained professional coaches, assisted by trained program assistants.