Kootenay figure skating championships start Friday in Creston

The John Bucyk Arena will be well used when 140 skaters take part in the Kootenay Regional Figure Skating Championships...

Twelve members of the the Creston Valley Figure Skating Club (pictured with their coaches) will take part in this weekend’s championships.

The John Bucyk Arena will be well used this weekend, when 140 skaters take part in the Kootenay Regional Figure Skating Championships.

The three-day event, which runs from Friday though Sunday, features members of 13 clubs from throughout the Kootenays, and includes 12 Creston skaters, a few of whom will be competing for the first time.

“I’ve encouraged the local skaters to enter as many events as possible to take advantage of being able to skate on home ice,” said Creston Valley Figure Skating Club coach Cassie Bloy.

The competition will run over three days, starting on Friday at 6:30 p.m., then running 8 a.m.-6 p.m. on Saturday and 8 a.m.-2 p.m. on Sunday.

At a time of year when figure skating fans have plenty of opportunities to watch Canadian and international stars competing and performing, it’s important to reflect on the impact that regional events like this have on future stars.

“Canada’s top skaters didn’t just wake up one morning knowing how to skate — they had to learn their twizzles and triples somewhere,” said Bloy. “Chances are, their skating careers started in community arenas like ours.”

The competition is open to the public and free of charge. There will be a boutique where fans can buy flowers and gifts to show support for the skaters.

“All the skaters have worked very hard, and we hope they have a triumphant skate to go along with their commitment to the sport,” said competition chair Sue Nelson.