It's time to grab your skates and head to Wheeling Park, where at 2 p.m. today the first evidence of the pending arrival of fall - and winter not far behind it - is slated to arrive, as members of the Wheeling Figure Skating Club gather for their annual registration meeting.
The event, an annual tradition, is a perfect way to bring together a wealth of experienced skaters who are only too happy to help out newcomers to the sport.
Skating has many benefits, one of which being that it's a lifelong sport. People can enjoy figure skating from age five to age 85.
The Wheeling Figure Skating Club is set to kick off another season. The sport is good exercise and can help build confidence and coordination. Those who have participated in the sport for years tend to build special friendships in the WFSC, and also with their trusted skates.
It's also a wonderful way to get exercise in the winter months. Skating in Wheeling park allows people to still enjoy the outdoors without the snow.
For children, skating helps build coordination, confidence and social skills.
At this year's WFSKC?meeting, a special treat will be offered up for the enjoyment of those attending: a novel opportunity to make your own sundae.
It is also the perfect time and place for those whose figure skating supplies and equipment needs require a little sprucing up or sifting out in order to be prepared for the coming season.
Former Barnesville resident, Kimberly Sailer, has been serving as head coach of the Wheeling-based club for several years. She is also a national and international competitor in singles and pairs and has amassed a highly successful competition and exhibition focused career track. Her skating credentials are of the highest professional levels.
A veteran coach, she continues to work with private students as well as lead group skating class experiences for the local Wheeling Figure Skating Club, and its now expanding coaching roster.
Last year, the organization introduced a plan developed at the national level called "Snowplow Sam." It is specially designed to get youngsters connected to fundamental and fun foundation level skating skills.
Snowplow Sam has been retained in the club program schedule for this season and is again being led by Yorkville resident Giovanna Loccisano. She is a three-time national gold medalist figure skater and, like Sailer, began her figure skating career as a member of the WFSC and has returned to help provide ready access to competitive level coaching.
Other skating coaches employed for the upcoming season include April Siebieda of Shadyside and Carolyn Ream of Wheeling.
Sailer and Loccisano are both currently compliant on their continuing education standards, are registered as certified figure skating coaches, and are members of the Professional Skaters Association, in addition to being members of the United States Figure Skating Association.
"It's a fun way to start children into skating," offered Sailer. "I have been involved with the WFSC for almost two decades, and I still keep in touch with many of the skaters. You develop amazing friends for life."
Members of the Wheeling Figure Skating Club can skate on both Wednesdays and Saturdays throughout the winter until the season ends in early March. The local skating season for club members begins on Saturday, Oct. 19.
Ice times for members of WFSC for the session on Wednesdays from are 5-7 p.m. and on Saturdays from 4:30 - 7 p.m.
The local skating club members are inviting area residents who have never tried skating to visit the rink.
Questions about the organization or its programs can be directed to WFSC president Kim Randolph Loccisano at 740-381-8570 or firstname.lastname@example.org.