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Familiar face returns to guide Poco figure skating club
Leanne Swensson may be new to her role as skating director with the Port Coquitlam Figure Skating Club but she’s no stranger to the local arena.
“It was like my home so now coming back as a director is like coming home,” said Swensson, who was a member with the club from 1979-89.
“It’s all been remodeled but in the rink it all looks essentially the same, the same bleachers, the same music room. You kind of have this flashback of remembering my sister skating and running around the top. Even the smell of the rink comes back to you. I spent many an hour in there.”
Swensson’s coaching career includes stints in Mission and Maple Ridge, and she spent the last four years working in the fitness industry and a private skating school in Mississauga, Ont.
Swensson comes from athletic bloodlines — her father Pete Swensson was the first recreation director in Langley and founded the Langley Walk more than a half century ago.
“He was a coach himself and he was an athlete,” she said. “I guess I followed in his footsteps unbeknownst to me at the time. It’s kind of nice to have that background.”
Now that she’s back in the Tri-Cities, Swensson said her first order of business will be to increase the club’s membership, which currently sits at about 120.
“There’s so many options out there now and a lot of people go through the city and that’s great because they’re still skating. But our club offers something that’s more unique,” said Rhea Attar, publicity director with the club.
The club provides members with the opportunity to join CanSkate, Canada’s only national learn-to-skate program which teaches the fundamentals of skating in a progressive and sequential manner. There is also the STARSkate program for those interested in pursuing the sport of figure skating and the CanPowerSkate program which focuses on stride technique, speed, and agility for hockey and ringette players.
“We offer more of a personal connection so we can make sure skaters are in the right program and have the right knowledge so they can improve,” said Swensson. “As the new director, I will focus on a fun, encouraging and progressive learning environment.”
The club is open to members from three to 93 and will be accepting new registrations in September. For more information on the club, call 604-220-0491, email email@example.com or visit their website at www.pocofigureskating.com.