The Ice Edge Skating Club and the Chestermere Minor Hockey Association teamed up for Chestermere’s first Mini Blades on Aug. 30.
The group of skaters, age seven to 14, had just over six hours throughout the week to practice and perfect their routines before performing in front of an audience.
“They did very well. It was great, it was a lot of fun, and the hockey players really enjoyed it,” said the Ice Edge Skating Club Head Coach Heather McFarlane.
Throughout the week, McFarlane heard that the hockey players were constantly cold, falling is painful without any padding on.
“They were cold a lot, but they loved it. Our girls absolutely loved it. Overall everyone had a really good time,” McFarlane said.
Although Mini Blades went really well, creating the routines and practicing in just a week was difficult.
“The time constraints were a challenge. I knew we had to fit a lot into a very short time and having to pick and choose what skills we were going to teach knowing we had such a limited amount of time,” McFarlane said.
“I also hadn’t met any of the boys before then. I didn’t know what they were like, their personalities, or their skating ability,” she said.
Going into rehearsals, McFarlane had a rough idea of routines they athletes would perform; however, it was difficult to really plan anything in advance.
“Until I saw them the first day, I didn’t know anything about them other than their height and their name,” McFarlane said.
She didn’t know if there was going to be a hockey player who was shy and not willing to make any large motions in the performance, or if there was a hockey player who was outgoing which needed to be reflected through the routine.
The first day all of the hockey players were hesitant, but by the last day they were the first ones on the ice, McFarlane said.
Mini Blades was well received by the athletes, and the audience, and is an event that McFarlane would like to explore more in the future.
“It was fantastic. It was a lot of fun. Everyone really enjoyed themselves. I didn’t see anything but smiles,” McFarlane said.