Columbine Figure Skating Club receives funding for inclusive skating program at Apex Center Ice Arena

U.S. Figure Skating recently announced the Columbine Figure Skating Club, whose home rink is the Apex Center Ice Arena, as the 2018 recipient of a $15,000 Building Block award, made through the Prudential Skating Fund. This award is given annually to eligible U.S. Figure Skating member clubs or programs that are addressing social needs or directly benefiting underserved groups and communities within the sport.

The Columbine Figure Skating Club will use the award to build an inclusive skating program for the deaf and hearing-impaired community through a partnership with the Rocky Mountain Deaf School and other local support institutions. The program’s goal is to help eliminate barriers and create recreational opportunities for skaters with disabilities.

Columbine Figure Skating will work with the Apex Center Ice Arena and the Board of Directors for support in this program. The club will also utilize its Junior Board members, five elected volunteer skaters from the club in 7th-12th grade, to support this group and events associated with the endeavor. Club parent volunteers will help coordinate the all-skate celebration at the end of the Learn to Skate session. Finally, and very importantly, CFSC will rely heavily upon Ashley Mikelsen and her fiancée, Kyla Paterson, as champions and key points of contact with the various outreach organizations, along with executive members of the Columbine Board. Ashley is a club member and adult skater who has rapidly progressed in the sport after her own learn-to-skate experience and successes. She a member of the Deaf community. Both Ashley and Kyla can lend support on and off the ice in a sign language translation and interpretation capacity, and as figure skaters, they can provide moral support for those new to the skating world.

The program will include up to 25 skaters of various ages, five coaches, five American Sign Language translators, and volunteers. It includes ice rental time and the cost of the Learn to Skate program. The club expects most participants to be between the ages of 5 and 25.

The initial program will last about eight weeks, and preparations will soon be underway.

Columbine Figure Skating Club and Apex Park and Recreation District look forward to this important collaboration, which will help broaden diversity within the skating world and foster an environment of inclusion for the community at large. For more information on the club and its activities, visit columbineskating.org. For more information on figure skating at the Apex Center, visit apexprd.org.