I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, skating is awesome! If you know how, go. If you don’t, learn. And if you need help, enroll in the “Learn to Skate” program at your local ice rink! Now, I know that’s easy for me to say. I play hockey so I already know how to skate. However, learning is really easy, especially when guided by qualified professionals. But don’t just take my word for it. This past week I caught up with Beth Merz, mother of Brynn Merz (age 11) who’s been in the program at The Reisterstown Sportsplex for over a year now. I thought getting an opinion from someone who’s been reaping the benefits of this program for some time might help give you a better idea of why it’s so great.
So here’s how it works. Registration is easy and can be done online. The beginner level consists of eight classes - one per week. At the end of the eighth class, there’s an “exam” to determine if the skills taught were absorbed and can be performed satisfactorily by the student in order advance to the next level of beginner classes. After one year, Brynn is now in the 2nd level of the next tier program, called the “Free Skate” program. According to Beth, the cost is “very reasonable,” and each enrollment also includes a coupon for one free public skating session to encourage students to continue practicing in their free time.
The Merz family is an active one. With four kids, someone’s always playing something - soccer, lacrosse, and now skating too! But Beth enjoys the chaos, especially when it pays off. “Brynn loves skating. She took to it immediately and she was a natural,” she said.
Not surprisingly, the beginner classes tend to be the largest. I asked Beth how the teachers make everyone feel welcome and comfortable. She said, “They’re very knowledgeable, excellent teachers. Good at handling lots of kids at beginner levels. Kirsten (Director of Figure Skating at The Reisterstown Sportsplex) is warm, friendly and encouraging. Brynn loves her.” She went on to explain that as students move up through the ranks, the crowds begin to thin, giving advancing students more one-on-one time with teachers. Private lessons are also offered, especially at the higher levels. There’s also no commitment, so a pay-as-you-go system can be utilized if necessary.
With a year behind her and her skills improving daily, I asked where Brynn wanted to go from here. Beth expressed that Brynn is getting so good and enjoys it so much, they’re beginning to wonder how they want to proceed as far as possibly competing. “She would probably want to compete at some point. We haven’t explored that just yet. But we look forward to speaking to her coaches about that possible next level.” Reisterstown offers a competition for skaters of all levels. Students are encouraged to compete if they choose.
After thanking Beth for offering to speak with me about Brynn and the “Learn to Skate” program, I asked if there were any final thoughts she would like to add. She responded by saying, “They’re doing a really nice job. It’s a good program. They have something for everybody. You can be a beginner, intermediate or advanced skater and get a lot out of the program.”
To check out the “Learn to Skate” program offered here at Reisterstown Sportsplex, follow this link: http://www.rtownsports.com/LTS_weekly.htm.
Tue, March 20, 2012
by Rob, filed under