recreational ice skating

ICE at The Parks Skating Director Caroline Baker, center, and coaches Olivia Langston, left, and Julie Stahl, right, accept the Overall Team Champion banner on behalf of their skaters.

Despite COVID-19 safety measures in place and having been rescheduled due to a mechanical issue at the host rink, the 2020 ISI Southwest Championships went off without a hitch!

Almost 200 skaters from six states and 14 rinks (many participating in their first competition since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic) were excited to skate in the friendly competition held Jan. 8-10 at ICE at the Parks in Arlington, Texas.

“Skaters were so excited to be back on the ice,” said ISI National Skating Programs & National Events Director Kim Hansen. “I heard from a mom who was so thankful that we didn’t cancel the event because her girls were eager to get back to competition and travel. The mom told me that she was getting texts from other skater parents, asking if she felt safe at the event. She told them that she was comfortable and felt safe — that the organizers were being cautious.

“In every case, people were wearing masks unless they were posing for a photo; everyone was compliant and respectful of the rules, and the rink knocked it out of the park. The staff was unbelievably helpful and made sure that everyone was safe.”

ICE at The Parks Skating Director Caroline Baker thought the fun event went extremely well. “Everyone behaved themselves,” she said. “At times when I would look out in the lobby area closest to the rink, I saw that there weren’t a lot of people hanging around; people were listening — doing their events and leaving. I haven’t heard, knock on wood, of any COVID issues and didn’t hear any complaints from coaches or parents.”

“Safety first” was the key to the competition’s success, according to Baker. “Masks were required and social distancing was practiced. We had a lot of signage all over the rink reminding people to wear masks, and we were cleaning surfaces frequently. It was a matter of having staff perform constant cleaning as well as participants wearing their masks and not acting as if the requirement didn’t apply to them.” Small paper bags were also provided so skaters could put their masks in them and hand over to their coaches to hold while they took to the ice.

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