LANTZ: More than 120 local figure skaters will be among the 360 entries to take to the ice at the East Hants Sportsplex in Lantz for the Robert McCall Memorial Skating Competition.
That tally includes 13 from Hants County; eight from Colchester County; and 107 from HRM, who will come to Lantz for the Feb. 2-4 event, hosted by the Bedford and Halifax Skating Clubs. The competition is Nova Scotia’s only Skate Atlantic qualifier.
According to an entry list from organizers, Cheryl Quinlan; Kayla Rees; and Emma Manuel-Brinton are the lone skaters from Enfield/Elmsdale registered. Fall River and Beaver Bank areas will be well represented by Ada Tuttle; Ella Bezanson; Jenna Haverstock; Sofia MacMichael; Briah MacDonald; Sydney Hillier; Marion Purdy; Reese Kaiser; Rebecca House; Abbygail Leavis; and Erica McDow.
Michelle Menzies, a coach, and Sheila Beard, official Technical Representative, are also from the Enfield/Elmsdale area.
Carolyn Haverstock co-chairwoman of the competition, and Marni Tuttle, Chair of Media and Sponsorship spoke of what people can expect to see at the event.
“It will be a very wide range of talent. From skaters who are having the opportunity to compete for the very first time in a friendly group setting,” said Haverstock, “all the way up to high-end skaters who will be doing a huge range of tricks and vying for spots to make it to Skate Atlantica in April. This is one of the last opportunities for skaters to get competition experience before the selection of the N.S. Canada Games team next year.”
According to Tuttle, there are 62 entries registered from N.B.; one from Newfoundland and Labrador; 25 from P.E.I., and 271 from Nova Scotia.
For N.S., the breakdown is as follows: 31 Pictou County; 29 Kings County; 26 Lunenburg County; 19 Shelburne County; 12 Yarmouth County; 11 Queens County; seven Cumberland County; six Digby County; and two from Richmond County.
Tuttle said the competition will boost the local economy.
“We’re expecting at least 1,000 people to come into the area because of the competition,” she said. “We know that will have ramifications for the local businesses, particularly the restaurants and gas stations. The local hotels will also benefit. I predict there will be some local shopping too.
“We’re also really excited with the number of skaters that are coming. We are hoping local residents will be out to encourage them to do their best.”
There’s also a chance for those watching to see a future Olympian such as Newfoundland’s Katelyn Osmond on the ice.
“There are a number of skaters who are learning to perform elements just like the stars do,” she said.
Bringing together 320 skaters from across Atlantic Canada takes a great deal of volunteer effort and support from sponsors.
“We’re looking to fill 84 volunteer shifts through the weekend,” said Haverstock, ” and we already have some wonderful community partners making this possible”.
The welcoming/opening ceremonies for the Rob McCall Memorial Competition will take place on Feb. 3 at 11 a.m. at the East Hants Sportsplex in Lantz. The official schedule will be released at Robert McCall Competition.