National Skating Month 2008

National Skating Month 2008 was a huge success, with more than 275 programs hosting events to get people on the ice for the first time. For a full listing of the programs that participated in National Skating Month 2008, click here (PDF).

To read the press releases about U.S. Figure Skating, USA Hockey and US Speedskating joining forces to promote National Skating Month, click here and here.

Click here to view photos from National Skating Month 2008.

Highlights from National Skating Month 2008
Columbus FSC and the Ohio State University learn-to-skate program, Columbus, Ohio
Forty or so children and adults attended an open house and free skating clinic sponsored by the Columbus Figure Skating Club and the Ohio State University learn-to-skate program, and The Columbus Dispatch was there to report on it. Read the article here.

Hobart Arena and Troy Skating Club, Troy, Ohio
Hobart Arena and the Troy Skating Club had its "It's Great to Skate" event on Jan. 6. In all, 340 people came out to skate; some families of eight arrived an hour early to register. Many new people were enrolled in the Basic Skills session, which begins Monday, Jan. 7. A total of 15 club members instructed and supervised the activities on the ice.

Skating Club of Lake Placid and the Adirondack Speed Skating Club, Lake Placid, N.Y.
The Skating Club of Lake Placid and the Adirondack Speed Skating Club hosted a "Skate into '08" New Year's Eve party at the Sheffield Olympic Speedskating Oval in Lake Placid, N.Y. Approximately 600 people attended and more than $2,600 was raised, to be split evenly between the two clubs. The local media was there to cover the event, including the The Adirondack Daily Enterprise and the Lake Placid News.

Skating Club of North Carolina, Raleigh, N.C.
The SC of North Carolina is offering people the opportunity to skate with Olympic medalists...and celebrate National Skating Month in the process. On Jan. 20 at the Factory Ice House in Wake Forest, N.C., you can take part in a special two-hour workshop and demonstration with Olympic champion Kristi Yamaguchi, and Olympic silver medalists Paul Wylie and Elena Bechke. Learn from the best in the world, get an autograph and see their Olympic medals! Click here (PDF) to download the promotional flyer and ticket purchase form.

Farmington Hills Learn to Skate, Farmington Hills., Mich.
The Farmington Hills learn-to-skate program hosted a "Skating Day" event Jan. 5 in association with National Skating Month. The day also featured synchronized skating and mite hockey demonstrations. Click on the link below to check out photos from the event.

Skater's Edge, Sun Prairie and McFarland, Wis.
Skater's Edge held its National Skating Month event at the McFarland Ice Arena on Sunday, Jan. 13. The event included "Bring a Friend Day," in which the friends took part in the lessons and played games. All kids received goody bags, and parents had the chance to enter raffles for free skating lessons for their children. The rink will continue to celebrate NSM the rest of the month by selecting a "Spotlight Skater" from its Basic Skills program to performing his or her program before lesson time for all to watch.

Cedar Rapids Ice Arena and the Eastern Iowa FSC, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
The Cedar Rapids Ice Arena held its National Skating Month promotional event Jan. 11. More than 400 skaters enjoyed free ice time and free lessons every hour. The club brought in its skaters to assist with the lessons and demonstrate spins and jumps. The arena also welcomed an additional 300 non-skaters, with free admission to watch a local high school hockey game.

Suburban Ice-Macomb, Macomb, Mich.
Suburban Ice-Macomb celebrated National Skating Month by offering a free open skate session on Saturday, Jan. 19. The sold-out crowd received a free private lesson from either a Suburban Ice learn-to-skate staff member or a professional from the Onyx-Suburban Skating Academy. Three family four packs of tickets to High School Musical on Ice were raffled off, and all participants got to skate with Snowplow Sam and Suburban Steve. The Onyx-Suburban Skating Academy held an exhibition displaying all levels of skating. Jacob Rutherford, 5, of Macomb Township skated for the first time and described his experience as "the coolest thing ever."

Richmond Ice Zone, Richmond, Va.
Chick-fil-A Skating Stars and the Richmond Ice Zone hosted a free beginner class on Wednesday, Jan. 16. More than 130 skaters attended. Skaters spent time off ice learning the basics of falling and marching. They were then treated to exhibitions by a figure skater, hockey players and speedskaters. After the exhibitions, skaters headed on the ice for a 30-minute lesson. Members of the Central Virginia Skating Club were also available to answer questions and help on the ice. The skaters broke off into figure skating, hockey and speedskating groups to try out their new skills.

FSC of Minneapolis, Minneapolis, Minn.
The FSC of Minneapolis held a small exhibition with three of its club skaters and two of its synchro lines. It also offered group lessons to anyone who wanted them. Skaters were split into basic levels and ages, and the ice was opened for skating. The club distributed information about its spring lessons as well as ice show registrations, and played a DVD of last year's ice show. A free session of skating lessons was raffled off, and cookies and cider were available.

Mt. Pleasant FSC, Mt. Pleasant, Mich.
The Mt. Pleasant FSC, in Mt. Pleasant, Mich., held a free National Skating Month party Friday, Jan. 25. In all, 271 people participated in the event. The club offered mini-skating lessons and an open skate to all participants. It gave away goodie bags, cookies, U.S. Figure Skating T-shirts and free learn-to-skate sessions. Skaters of all ages, from 3 to adult, came out for the party.

Space City Ice Station, Friendswood, Texas
The Space City Ice Station in Friendswood (Houston), Texas, celebrated National Skating Month with an open house Jan. 2, 2008. The event included a free "Try Me" ice skating lesson and an open skating session with more than 100 skaters in attendance. After the instruction time, the coaches skated and played on-ice games with the skaters. Attendees participated in balloon races, the hokey-pokey and the chicken dance. As the event was held close to the holidays, many grandparents were in attendance to watch their grandkids enjoy ice skating.

Diamond Edge FSC, Little Rock, Ark.
Arkansas Skatium, the Diamond Edge Figure Skating Club and Little Rock AHA hockey had its second annual "It's Great to Skate" program. Forty or so children and adults participated in skating and hockey lessons. They also got to watch club members perform a skating exhibition as well as a hockey scrimmage game between the mites and squirts. The club's Theatre on Ice team made its debut. About 10 club members instructed the ice skating activities.

Great Neck FSC, Great Neck, N.Y.
The Great Neck FSC celebrated its first National Skating Month on Monday, Jan 21. Activities included an introduction to ice dancing, with a free hour of ice dancing clinics with former Russian champion Alex Esman. The event continued with exhibitions by 2008 U.S. juvenile bronze medalist ice dancers Danielle Gamelin & Alex Gamelin and intermediate dance team Lindsay Klein & Eric Greengold. The first hour concluded with a special performance by the “Icettes,” Parkwood Ice Rink's senior synchronized skating team. The day continued with free ice hockey clinics for beginners and non-skaters and an introduction to the Basic Skills program for new skaters. Free admission to Parkwood Ice Rink and skate rentals were offered to all who participated. Each skater received a goody bag filled with U.S. Figure Skating items, and 25 lucky skaters went home with raffle prizes, including club T-shirts, sweatshirts and free admission tickets to the rink for their next visit.

Fairbanks FSC, Fairbanks, Alaska
The Fairbanks Figure Skating Club held its National Skating Month celebration Saturday, Jan. 26. The club offered 160 half-hour lessons, with 40 skaters on the ice in groups of 10. While this was going on, free games with small prizes were offered in the upper deck of the rink. The hockey concession stand gave out hockey recruitment information. J3L Skatewear, a local store, sold skating merchandise. The lessons were followed by a recreation skate. The grand finale was a recital by the members of the Fairbanks FSC. This event was featured on the local news the following Monday.

Ozark FSC, Springdale, Ark.
The Ozark FSC held its fourth annual "It's Great to Skate" event Jan. 19 at the Jones Center for Families in Springdale, Ark. The 4.5-hour event began with an ice hockey exhibition pitting adult skaters from the Ozark Hockey League against the youth skaters from the Northwest Arkansas Hockey Association Midgets. After that, figure skaters from the Ozark FSC, ranging in age from 7 to 18, put on an exhibition. Several of those skaters, along with coaches from the club, taught free lessons to all who signed up. In all, about 75 people took part in these classes. After the lessons, all attendees participated in an open skate to practice what they learned in class.

Murray Silver Blades FSC, Murray, Utah
The Murray Silver Blades Figure Skating Club held its second annual "Skate Til You Drop" sleepover event Jan. 4-5 to celebrate National Skating Month. About 35 girls from the club spent the night at the rink playing games, eating food and, of course, skating the night away.

Wichita Ice Center, Wichita, Kan.
The Wichita Ice Center recently hosted an "It's great to skate!" clinic and lesson. In all, 159 children and adults participated in the free lessons. The clinic combined the three disciplines of skating the Ice Center offers - figure skating, speedskating and hockey - with coaches from each discipline volunteering their time. Of the 159 participants, 110 took part in the figure skating lesson. Click here (MP3) to listen to a 30-second promo that ran on KGSO AM 1410.