Learning to Skate


Photo by Jia Yu Cheung ’18

Every Sunday, Loomis hosts the Learn to Skate Clinic, where kids from town are invited to come learn some new skills on the ice. Little kids, ranging from five to ten years old, bundled up in their cozy mittens and tiny beanies, rush into the warmth of the waiting room at the beginning of each ice session.  But once dressed, they enthusiastically waddle to the front of the gate, impatiently waiting for the rink to be cleared.

The skate sessions are split into three parts: basic warm-up skating around the rink, one-on-one individual skill training, and finally,  small competitions and games. A classic favorite is Red Light Green Light. When one of the volunteers shouts “Green Light”, everyone bolts forward. A few trip and fumble over their skates, while others gracefully glide forward. The competition is intense as the kids race towards the finish line.  When the volunteer suddenly turns back, yelling “Red Light”, the kids attempt to stop, and in doing so, some tumble onto the frigid ice, while others continue to coast slowly along the ice. Even though some fail to stop completely, their ambitious attitude pushes them to improve in order to win the next game.

Coaching for the Learn to Skate Clinic is an absolute blast. After every session, every volunteer has a highlight to share, a small story to tell. Everyone learns something from the lessons, whether it’s a child learning how to do a crossover, or a volunteer admiring a kid’s tenacious and persistent attitude. There’s always something fun happening. Come by next Sunday and check it out!