CBC's new Mini Battle of the Blades for kids should be win-win for both the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's Sunday night reality TV Show and small-town figure skating clubs.
“This is great for exposure,” said Langton Skating Club professional coach Michele Burger after the club's third Battle of the Blades practice session Friday afternoon.
Ten Langton figure skaters, mostly between the ages of 8-13, have been paired up with hockey players to perform figure skating routines in front of a panel of local judges and a CBC camera crew on Tuesday, October 29th at 7 p.m. Langton's winning pair will have its routine posted online to be judged by public voting against eight other pairs across Canada. The grand prize is a trip to Toronto to attend the Battle of the Blades season finale in November.
“It's great for the community,” said Burger. “It's like the Hockeyville thing, but now it's on the figure skating side for us. It's awesome that our community has had two big events like that take place in our little town. We're just a tiny club to do this - it's an honour. How many times does CBC come to Langton?
“Hopefully we can build it up to promote the sport. We want to get as much exposure out there as we can.”
Langton Skating Club's team of coaches have years of choreography experience, but they usually have more time to prepare competition or carnival-type routines. In this case, they are working with young hockey players – who will compete on hockey skates – with no figure skating experience, and figure skaters with no pairs experience.
“It's difficult,” admitted Burger with a smile. “We only have four weeks to put all this together and have the competition. It's a really tight schedule and it's difficult to organize and arrange practice sessions.”
Limited to just 10 pairs for the competition, Langton filled its quota basically within a day. Most of them are 10-12 year olds.
“They all jumped on-board – that part of it was easy,” said Burger. “I think the kids are totally enjoying it. This is all brand new – they've never done anything like this, so they're all gung ho about it. It's fun for them and they are absolutely loving it.”
Langton Mini Battle of the Blades
October 29, 7 p.m.
Gillian Darlington (LSC) & Jon Kozicki (Waterford)
Ainsley Toth (LSC) & Luca Meyer (Delhi)
Danielle Vanacker (LSC) & Stefan Vandendriessche (LAMHA)
Abby Koot (Langton) & Maddox Callens (Langton)
Paige Vandendriessche (LSC) & Jordan Vanacker (LAMHA)
Haley Burger (LSC) & Ryan Jamieson (LAMHA)
Danica VanHaverbeke (LSC) & Kieran Gubesch (LAMHA)
Rachel Toft (LSC) & Jesse Reimer (LAMHA)
Jennifer VanDeWiele (LSC) & Alex VanDeWiele (LAMHA)
Abby LeBouthillier (LSC) & Guerin Greenfield (LAMHA)