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Kla How Ya skating competition in Prince Rupert, first time in 7 years

Public invited to watch skaters from across the north in free event Dec. 2 to 4

For the first time in seven years, the Prince Rupert Skating Club will host the Kla How Ya competition from Dec. 2 to 4 at the Jim Ciccone Civic centre ice rink.

The public is invited to the free admission event featuring more than 70 skaters from Prince Rupert, Kitimat, Terrace, Smithers and further across the North to as far away as Quesnel and Fort St. John glide across the ice in the amateur competition.

The skating will be Fri. Dec. 2, 3:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., Sat. 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sun. 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The competition is an annual occasion, where young skaters can display their talents, which is hosted on a rotating basis through the various participating communities, Tamara Ward, head coach for the club said.

“None of us have hosted before, so it’s exciting,” she said.

Skaters range in age from seven years old up. The audience will not have to wait until the final day to watch award ceremonies as skaters will receive commendations and medals on an hourly basis after each event.

Skating performances during the event will be live-streamed to judges and officials who are remote.

Due to the immense work required for the competition and the need for 120 volunteers, the club will not be performing a Christmas pageant this year, Ward said.

“We’ve been getting old skaters and parents to help out. Community businesses have donated food to feed the volunteers. We have a camera person who comes. It’s a lot of work.”

“This event is a huge undertaking for the club. We decorate and do good bags and keepsakes,” Ward said.

Skating is an important skill and outlet for youth, the coach said.

“Skating is especially important in the north. Everyone should learn. It’s a safe space. I know a lot of my kids find a safe haven on the ice,” Ward said.

“I think the club is doing a great job and putting full effort into making the competition a great experience for the skaters. We know the public will enjoy this event.”