Four members of the Duncan Skating Club passed their Gold Tests recently, getting them done just in time before the ice came out of the Cowichan Arena for the summer.
Peyton Kong passed the Gold Dances test, while Sophie Dawe, DelRae Olson and Ryley MacDonald passed their Gold Artistic tests. Kong, Olson and MacDonald had previously completed their Gold Skills test, making these their second gold awards.
“These skaters have worked hard all season,” Duncan Skating Club head coach Lorraine Francisty said. “Not being able to skate for five months due to COVID and to return with many restrictions. There have been no test days, as a judge would not be able to attend, and no competitions.”
In January, however, Skate Canada emailed member clubs saying they could apply to have a virtual test day, and Francisty jumped at the opportunity for her skaters.
It took some time to confirm a date, and the club skaters were running out of time, with the ice coming out on April 4.
“We received word from Skate Canada two weeks prior that we have been approved and they would run a tech check a week before to make sure this would all happen,” Francisty said.
The judge for the free skates was located in Vancouver, and the judge for the dances and artistic components was in Ontario. The Duncan skaters received plenty of feedback from both judges.
“It takes many years to achieve this level,” Francisty pointed out. “Both myself and Dominic [Turgeon, team coach] are very proud of the hard work these skaters have put in to achieve this. Peyton, DelRae, and Ryley are all attending VIU in September in Nanaimo so they will not have as much time to put towards their skating.”