Beaver Valley hosting Kootenay regionals

Figure skating takes over centre ice at the Beaver Valley Arena this weekend.

Over 100 skaters from East and West Kootenay in Fruitvale for three

days of competition

Figure skating takes over centre ice at the Beaver Valley Arena this weekend.

Over 100 skaters from 11 clubs throughout the East and West Kootenay will be in Fruitvale for the Kootenay Regional Championships beginning Friday.

Shelley Verhelst, vice president of the Beaver Valley Skating Club, said the competition will feature clubs from Rossland, Castlegar, Nelson, Nakusp, Creston, Cranbrook, Kimberley, Invermere, Fernie and Sparwood.

It’ll mark the first time in 11 years that the Beaver Valley Skating Club has hosted the event and the home club has a history of excelling.

The Beaver Valley skaters have won the team trophy at the regionals for eight consecutive years and counting. It has also been the recipient of the regionals Sportsmanship Award in 2007 and 2010.

“This is what work we towards,” said longtime Beaver Valley Skating Club coach Lis Iannone.

The event runs Friday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. featuring skating skills at various levels. Saturday’s schedule begins at 8 a.m. and continues throughout the day with freeskate competitions until 7 p.m.

“We’ve got a variety of events on Saturday,” said Iannone. “It’s going to be jammed packed.”

Sunday the skaters are on the ice at 8 a.m. for the interpretive and elements portion of the weekend.

The top four skaters from designated events will qualify for the Pacific StarSkate provincials, which will be held in Cranbrook in March.

Iannone explained it will mark the final time for the provincial championship.

“It’s going to be the last one. They’re changing the format and their will no longer be a provincial format for these kids.

She explained the provincial body is leaning towards a “Grand Prix style circuit” where skaters travel to different events hosted around the province.

“It’s nice that the Kootenays were able to host this last event.”

On top of the regional competition, the skaters will be on the ice early on Friday for an extended high test day. Iannone said with the judges in town for the competition, it provided the perfect opportunity to combine tests with the event.

The entire weekend is open and free to the public.