Judging from how it looks now, one wouldn’t think the Nakusp Figure Skating Club was ever in any danger of shutting down.
For example Val Hill, president of Nakusp Figure Skating, reported that this year had one of its highest years in enrolment in a long time and she only sees more and more skaters coming in as the year progresses.
But it was only five years ago in 2006 that the club was sitting with roughly 12 members and lost its only certified coach, forcing it to shut down for the 06/07 season.
The coach from Revelstoke at the time didn’t like the limited ice-time in Nakusp and did not like driving between the village and the city during the winter.
Then-president of Nakusp Figure Skating, Chantal Broughton, said she had advertised in surrounding communities, online and everywhere she could think of to continue the program. But since they couldn’t find a Skate Canada accredited coach, they couldn’t get insurance. And without insurance, the club couldn’t function.
However, this wouldn’t stop those who really loved figure skating in the area. Mainly Kimberly Hill and Rachel Wiebe, who travelled to Castlegar for lessons every week where they met the Castlegar coach Sabrina Hinson.
Hinson was a Skate Canada accredited coach with a philosophy of fun in her teaching style.
The girls loved working with her, and after enough time, Val Hill – Kimberly’s mother – decided to ask Sabrina if she would be willing to coach in Nakusp.
And just like that, she was in.
The club was back in the 07/08 season, and this would just begin the rise of Sabrina Hinson.
Since then, Hinson has coached in Nakusp for years. She would slowly but surely attract more and more skaters to her classes.
And finally, in 2010, one of the biggest moments in her career would happen. Hinson would be flown out to Toronto and named as one of the top 10 coaches in all of Canada.
She would train with world-renowned skaters and other coaches, picking up tricks and tips to implement in her own classes along the way.
Which brings us to now: 2011. The classes are seeing huge leaps in numbers with nearly 60 skaters registered this season.
What was once a dying, nay, dead program is now one of the village’s most sought after winter classes.
All in all, the Nakusp Figure Skating Club has more or less been resuscitated, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to go down any time soon.