Hosting an Aspire clinic is a great way to generate skater interest. That’s exactly what the Learn to Skate USA program at Kansas City Ice Center did. Using the adjustable day-long Aspire camp model, skating director Kay Olive and her team launched a clinic last month to engage skaters and generate interest in a permanent Aspire club.
“We started off with the National Dynamic Warm-Up, and then did some spins, jumps, artistry and connecting moves,” she said. “We introduced synchro, Theatre On Ice and ice dance. I also had a dance teacher come in and do some off-ice movement.”
At the end of the day, Olive handed out notebooks to participants. The skaters reflected on their day, noting what their favorite part was and what their skating goals are for the near and distant future. The clinic also included parents education, something Olive noted was arguably the most important aspect of the Aspire program.
“A lot of parents don’t understand skating going into it, and we want to give them the best tools to make decisions for their children’s skating,” she said. “Including the parents is good to educate them on how skating works and the different aspects available to their child.”
Next up, Olive said, is to start up an Aspire club at the rink. The skaters will attend their Learn to Skate USA classes while also learning more about different aspects of skating, from jumps and spins to synchro and Artistry in Motion — all included in an affordable six-week package. The hope for Olive is to engage skaters and keep them coming back to the ice for more.
“With Aspire, I hope our skaters will have fun and get to where they want to be in skating,” Olive said. “The most important thing is that they’re having fun and enjoying skating.”
Using the resources available on U.S. Figure Skating’s Members Only portal, Olive was able to create a clinic that skaters and parents enjoyed. She encourages anyone interested to give it a try.
“They’ve got great resources for you,” she said. “Whether you want to do a day-long or week-long clinic, the models and resources are there for you to use. It’s easy-peasy.”
If you’re interested in starting an Aspire program at your rink, visit usfigureskating.org/aspire and fill out the interest form.