FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Please contact the Club Office at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or if you need to add or make changes after the Skating School has started. You can also schedule a training session on the system us if you need assistance.
CanSkate Parent Info Sheet
To view or download information about our learn to skate sessions, use the following links.
I would like to register my child for skating lessons, how does your CanSkate program work?
The Gloucester Skating Club is one of the largest Skate Canada clubs nationally, we have over 1,200 members. The size of our club allows us to provide classes that are both age and skill appropriate for each of our members.
Pre-CanSkate – This 30 minute class is designed for children 3 and 4 years of age who have little or no skating experience. Skaters are taught how to fall down and get up, skate forwards, make snow, walk backwards, etc. Skaters move on to the CanSkate ‘1’ session once they have received their Pre-CanSkate certificate.
CanSkate ‘1’ – This 45 minute class is designed for children 4 and 5 years of age. New members do not need to have had any experience on the ice, returning members are working on ‘Stages 1’ and ‘2’ of the CanSkate program. Skaters are taught the fundamental movements of Agility, Balance and Control in a series of six badges or ‘Stages’ that provide a progression from one badge to the next . Skaters also receive a ribbon for each fundamental movement at every Stage. Skaters move on to the CanSkate ‘2’ session once they have completed their ‘Stage 2’ badge.
CanSkate ‘2’ – This 50 minute class is designed for new and returning members 6 years of age and up plus 4 and 5 year olds working on Stage 3. New members do not need to have had any experience on the ice, returning members are working on ‘Stages 1’, ‘2’ and ‘3’ of the CanSkate program. The badges or ‘Stages’ are the same as in the CanSkate ‘1’ session, please see above for this information. Skaters move on to the CanSkate ‘3’ session once they have completed their ‘Stage 3’ badge.
CanSkate ‘3’ – This 50 minute class is designed for skaters working on their ‘Stage 4’ badge and higher. Skaters are learning forward and backward crosscuts, edge and turn development, etc. Once a skater has completed our ‘Stage 6’ badge, they are proficient in all fundamental skating skills!
My child is four and has never skated before. How do I know if I should sign up for the Pre-CanSkate or CanSkate ‘1’?
The biggest question you need to ask yourself is whether your child would suit a 30 minute or 45 minute class. The skills taught on both sessions are the same, the lesson time and group activities of the CanSkate ‘1’ class are longer. If your child is active and has been exposed to different group classes, they will probably do well in the CanSkate ‘1’ session. It is also a simple change if you or your child’s coach feels they would be better suited to another session once the program has started if space is available.
There seems to be different levels all on one session, how do you divide the groups?
Skaters are placed in groups according to skating ability and age. A portion of each class is the group lesson. The ice is divided up into groups and there may be as many as six different groups during one session. It usually takes a few weeks to assess all of the groups and move skaters according to their ability, so please be patient, and we will check every child to make sure they are in the right group.
If it is 3-4 weeks after the session has already started feel free to register on a session where space is available. Your price will be pro-rated based on the number of sessions remaining in the season.
After 4 weeks of skating, our members are well integrated in their groups and moving on the ice. At this time, we limit the number of registrants so that we can assess new skaters and place them in a group that most closely matches their skill level. At this time, you may not see any sessions open for registration. Please register for a drop-in to get a Skate Assessment. Our Skating Director or Supervisor will meet with you at the Boards to discuss your skater’s skills and spend a few minutes on the ice to observe their skills.
Please have your Skater arrive with skates and a CSA approved hockey helmet on. Our Director will then discuss with you the Session and group that is most appropriate for the Skater, where they can readily integrate with an existing group.
Do I go on the ice with my child?
No, parents are asked to watch their child from the stands. This allows our coaches to have the complete attention of the skaters. Our Skate Canada Certified Professional coaches have many years of experience coaching young skaters and are well equipped to take care of your child during their skating session.
How does my child move up to another Stage?
Coaches evaluate their skater’s skills on a continuous basis. Skaters in Pre-CanSkate will receive a ribbon once they have completed all of the skills in this level. Our CanSkate members will receive ribbons for each of the fundamental movements of Agility, Balance and Control at each of the six Stages. Once they have received the three fundamental movement ribbons on a Stage, they will receive their Stage badge. Sometimes this may mean changing groups, but they could also remain in the same group if the other skaters are progressing at the same rate.
How do I know how my child is progressing?
At the end of each season, you will receive a report card with a record of their accomplishments. If your child is absent on the last class, you may pick up their report card at our club office. Skaters start right where they left off at the beginning of the next season.
Do you provide French instruction?
We do our very best to provide French instruction upon request, but skating ability will always be our first priority. This means we cannot guarantee French instruction. Each session has French speaking coaches available plus our volunteer Program Assistants who help out our English speaking coaches. Please let us know at registration time if you would like a French speaking coach and we will do our best to provide one.
Does my child need a helmet?
All Skate Canada member clubs and skating schools who offer a CanSkate program must ensure ALL CANSKATE and ADULT CANSKATE participants up to and including Stage 5 must wear a CSA APPROVED HOCKEY HELMET WHILE ON THE ICE.
What kind of skates should I buy & where do I get them sharpened?
Skates are the most important tool a skater has on the ice. Skate Canada working in conjunction with national partner Canadian Tire have developed a program to help make your child’s CanSkate on ice experience both positive and fun. The Gloucester Skating Club has teamed up with our local Canadian Tire store on Innes Road to create a 10% discount coupon on all regular and sale priced CanSkate supplies for our members. You can find skates, CSA approved helmets, skate guards and Skate Canada skate bags to outfit your child for their first day of skating lessons.
Here are some things to take into consideration when purchasing skates and CanSkate supplies for your child:
Skates should fit snugly and provide support to the ankles. We recommend lace up skates (recreational, hockey or figure); we do not recommend any of the moulded/plastic skates.
Canadian Tire offers a girls’ recreational lace up skate made by Reebok, a new line of Jackson figure skates and their complete line of hockey skates that would all be suitable for CanSkate. Please look for the ‘CanSkate approved’ on the skate wall at Canadian Tire Orleans.
- All skaters working on Stages 1 – 5 must wear a CSA approved hockey helmet for their CanSkate lessons. Bike and ski helmets will not be acceptable. Canadian Tire offers a complete line of CSA approved hockey helmets for purchase.
- Other items to consider include a skate bag and skate guards
Providing your child with appropriate skating equipment will help them improve their skating skills more quickly and will make their on-ice experience more enjoyable.
Are you wondering where to take your child’s skates for sharpening? We recommend ‘Final Pass’ at the Ray Friel Recreation Centre (our rink), ‘Lacroix Sports’ on St.Joseph Blvd and ‘Figure 8/Hockey One’ on Industrial Ave. These shops will provide you with a good recreational sharpening.
What can we expect at skating lessons?
Skating lessons are a fun and exciting challenge for young children. Our Skate Canada Certified Professional Coaches are fun and enthusiastic individuals who are committed to providing quality skating programs for our members. But parents please remember that ice is slippery and hard, not all children feel comfortable on the ice right away. Our coaches are well-trained in alleviating skater’s fears, just be patient and your child will soon be gliding across the ice with a smile on their face!
What kind of special events can my child expect in the CanSkate program?
Our skaters enjoy fun days such as Halloween dress-up day, Mini Olympics, etc. We also have a Christmas Party on December 20th this year.
What should my child wear to skating lessons?
Wear clothing that is comfortable, warm, light and allows your child to move freely. Make sure to layer clothes so your child can remove or add a piece of clothing to suit changing temperatures and exertion levels. Heavy snow suits hinder skater’s ability to move or get back up after falling, which can cause frustration. The coaches will be using markers on the ice when drawing out the skater’s circuits. The marker may rub off the ice if your child falls, so please dress your child in dark clothing. We cannot guarantee the marker will come out in the wash.
How do I register my child for skating lessons?
Registration is on-line at www.gloucesterskatingclub.ca. Please follow the CanSkate registration information on the home page of our website.
My son/daughter plays hockey but needs help with his/her skating skills. Should I register for CanSkate?
CanSkate is a program developed by Skate Canada to teach the fundamentals of skating. The skills learned in CanSkate can help skaters interested in pursuing hockey, speed skating, ringette and figure skating.
My child wants to learn to figure skate, does he/she have to register for CanSkate first?
Skaters must learn the fundamentals of skating before they can start figure skating. Every child must start in CanSkate and progress through the stages to prepare them for figure skating lessons.
Can I register my child for more than one session?
Of course! The more time a skater spends on the ice, the more chance for progression! Skaters benefit from working together in a group environment, we do not offer private instruction to skaters at the CanSkate level.
Does every child have to pay the Skate Canada Membership Fee or is it one fee per family?
The $32.70 Skate Canada membership fee must be paid for every skater registered with the Gloucester Skating Club. This fee provides insurance for each member providing our club and skaters a safe environment in which we can enjoy skating. It also allows our club to purchase CanSkate supplies such as badges, report cards, etc from Skate Canada. If you move away from Ottawa, you can register in any Skate Canada club in your new city and start at the badge level you left off at in GSC!
Will the sessions fill up quickly?
Yes! Our CanSkate program is very popular and most classes offered will reach the maximum number of skaters before the starting date. We do start a waiting list when a session fills, but it is best to register early to guarantee a spot!
Are there credits/refunds for missed sessions due to sickness or vacation?
Credits or refunds are issued when a medical certificate can be provided by the parent. Due to the size of our program, we are not able to provide make-up classes for sessions missed due to illness or vacation.
What if my child tries a few lessons but doesn’t like it, can I get my money back?
Skating lessons are a fun and exciting challenge for young children. Our Skate Canada Certified Professional Coaches are fun and enthusiastic individuals who are committed to providing quality skating programs for our members. But parents please remember that ice is slippery and hard, not all children feel comfortable on the ice right away. It may take a few sessions before your child settles in to skating. If you find your child is still not happy after a few sessions, please talk to your coach and ask their advice. GSC does not provide refunds once a session has started, but will give you a credit that can be used for any family member for future sessions.
Does CanSkate run all year long, including the summer?
Yes, the Gloucester Skating Club offers CanSkate all year long, even the summer! It’s great to come into a cool rink after a hot day outside.
If you have more questions, please call our office administrator or our CanSkate Director, Sheilagh McCaskill at 613-830-1610.