Organizing a regional championship is a lot of work made easier with an excellent team of volunteers, says Salmon Arm Skating Club president Crystal de Boer.
For about a year now the club has been preparing to host the 2020 Okanagan Region Championships, set to take place Feb. 7-9 at the Shaw Centre.
De Boer says the weekend will see 280 skaters take part in 393 events. Thirty-three of those skaters are from the Salmon Arm club who will compete in 67 events.
“That’s pretty cool – it’s the most we’ve ever had,” said de Boer, noting participating skaters range in age from 5 to their 20s. “Everyone is very excited to be skating on home ice, takes off a lot of pressure because they know the arena.”
De Boer says Salmon Arm hasn’t hosted the regional championships since 2002 and, with all the attending skaters, family members, etc., she anticipates more than 1,000 people will be visiting the city for the event.
The public is welcome to attend, during which they can try their luck at winning one of many donated prizes, including a WestJet trip and a houseboat package.
The Salmon Arm club’s senior skaters are looking forward to the event, not just for what’s happening on the ice, but also helping out behind the scenes, says de Boer who, given the number of competing skaters involved, let alone everyone else who will be attending, is grateful for every bit of help.
“The regional people were saying this is a huge competition with lots and lots of skaters – more than expected,” said de Boer. “It’s been really easy to organize because we have such an amazing team.”