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CanSkate Frequently Asked Questions 

What should my family consider when preparing for the season?
  • hockey or figure skates with laces are the best option for new skaters
  • hockey helmets are required for all CanSkaters
  • skaters should wear warm clothes and mitts but avoid bulky ski jackets/pants, which make it difficult to stand after falling
  • it's fun to skate with friends - find a buddy to enroll with you!

Proper equipment video

Who teaches CanSkate?

NCCP-trained professional coaches, assisted by trained program assistants.

Program assistants are volunteers skaters from our STARSkate program, who can be as young as 10 years old and are learning how to be coaches.  Program assistants are asked to support the coaches in the most professional manner possible, however, they are still learning what that means.  Please be patient with these young volunteers as they do their best to help your child learn how to skate.  Program assistants play a vital role in making our CanSkate program successful.


Are parents allowed on the ice?

Parents are not allowed on the ice for insurance reasons.


What will my skater learn?

Pre-CanSkate follows the same curriculum as the CanSkate model but is catered specifically to our 3-5 year old new skaters. These are 45 minute sessions and skaters will be assessed and receive badges under the same guidelines as the CanSkate program.

CanSkate is a 45 minute program for skaters ages 3 and up. It teaches basic skating skills and fundamental movements such as how to go forward, go backward, stop, turn, spin and jump. This program emphasizes fun and continuous movement. It is taught in a group lesson format and accommodates skaters in Stages 1, 2, and 3. Skaters are rewarded with official badges as they progress through the stages.

Advanced CanSkate is 45 minutes or more of continuing CanSkate instruction for experienced skaters who have progressed to Stages 4, 5, and 6. Skaters develop superior basic skating skills in preparation for figure skating, hockey or ringette.


What will a CanSkate session look like?

The itinerary for each session will vary slightly each time, depending on the plans of the coaches.  However, more advanced CanSkaters will be allowed on the ice several minutes before the Pre-CanSkaters.  This will allow the youngest (3-4 year old) skaters to safely enter the ice surface at a slower pace.

CanSkaters will participate in a full ice warm up and cool down as well as circuits emphasizing our 3 main skill areas, Control, Balance and Agility. They will also have access to a “fast track” around the perimeter of the ice. Skaters will be assessed on every session and will receive ribbons and badges as they are earned and a report card at the end of each 5 week block. Skate Canada has a great set of videos that demonstrate the skills that your skater will learn as part of the CanSkate program, which will include agility, balance, and control (see links).

Pre-CanSkaters will make use of the centre of the ice for a small circuit, games songs and fun activities. Once a 3 or 4 year old beginner skater has received their Pre-CanSkate ribbon they will be integrated into the Canskate program. Parents will not accompany skaters on the ice; coaches and program assistants will be on the ice to help all beginners.  Coaches will ensure that Pre-CanSkaters leave the ice safely before the faster skaters exit.  Skate Canada has a great set of videos that demonstrate the skills that your skater will learn as part of the Pre-CanSkate program.


How can my skater start competitive figure skating?

If your skater is advancing through the CanSkate program and is interested in the competitive stream of figure skating, ask your child's coach about the STARSkate program or email STARSkate requires competence in basic skating skills, however, there is no minimum age.

MJSC Club #: 1000213