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CanSkate@School National Pilot Program

Skate Canada is pleased to announce a national initiative to pilot CanSkate@School in multiple communities across the country in the 2016-2017 school year.

CanSkate@School has been designed to improve the quality of field trips to the arena while enhancing existing school curricula. Students who participate in CanSkate@School will have the opportunity to learn from Canada’s only nationally delivered learn-to-skate curriculum.

Once fully developed, CanSkate@School will include:

  • Classroom activities that prepare students for the ice
  • Three CanSkate sessions delivered by Skate Canada professional coaches
  • Follow-up classroom activities/information that encourage students to continue participating in ice sports and recreational skating
  • Support materials for teachers

Developed using Skate Canada’s Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) model, CanSkate@School’s on-ice curriculum introduces the fundamentals required for all ice sports and recreational skating. Students learn balance (forward skating skills, pushing technique and edges), control (backward skating skills, stopping and speed elements), and agility (turning and jumping), while developing speed and flexibility. This is accomplished by ensuring 90% continuous movement on the ice using strategies such as circuits, the “fast track” (the perimeter of the ice), effective warm ups, cool-downs and skill progressions. 

CanSkate@School is specifically designed for Grade 2 students but adaptable for Grade 1 & 3 students. These grades target students in the “Active Start” stage of the Sport for Life Continuum, which is a critical period of development.

Skate Canada is working to provide a “turn-key” program delivery model for delivery partners while being adaptable to local needs. The national pilot initiative will build on earlier testing which occurred in the last two school years in select locations across Canada. Further testing in diverse locations across the country will help Skate Canada assess program strengths and opportunities for improvement.

Pilot Program Delivery Application

Coaches, club board members, skating school directors and educators interested in delivering a pilot program are required to submit a delivery application to the Skate Canada National Service Centre. The application can be found in Skate Canada’s Info Centre Partner Programming Toolkit > Program Resources > Delivery Application Guidelines & Workbook.

The application is designed to help those interested in delivering a pilot program work through their delivery plan. The application workbook includes program delivery guidelines, a delivery plan worksheet, and a budget worksheet.

Roles & Responsibilities

Skate Canada Coaches

A Skate Canada Professional coaches will serve as the lead coach for all three sessions and will be responsible for:

  • Grouping skaters prior to or at the beginning of the first session
  • Directing the program by determining the on-ice session format and assigning roles and groups to other coaches
  • Providing age-appropriate music for the entire session
  • Providing teaching aids, props and station identification signage
  • Operating all sessions with the following components – warm-up, lesson time, group activity and cool-down
  • Incorporating the Fast Track and Fun Zone in each session
  • Providing students with incentives such as stickers, stamps, etc.

All coaches on the ice will be responsible for:

  • Teaching CanSkate skills using the CanSkate program delivery methods contained in the CanSkate manual
  • Ensuring 90% continuous movement using circuits to ensure little standing around and no waiting to take turns to practice skills
  • Using the entire ice surface for warm-up, group activity and cool-down components
  • Using circuits to teach and practice skills
  • Providing skaters with a fun and encouraging learning environment
  • Educating/providing advice on skating matters to teachers, parents and co-op students assisting with the program
  • Assisting with setting up (e.g. teaching aids, signage, group identification) at the beginning and tidying up at the end of each session

All skating instruction will be delivered by Skate Canada’s professional coaches.

Teachers, parents & co-op students

Coaches will be assisted on ice by teachers, parents and co-op students who:

  • Assist or lead warm–ups, group activities or cool–downs
  • Lead circuits and station rotations
  • Assist with the set–up of circuits and stations
  • Provide assistance to skaters who may have additional needs
  • Provide general assistance to the coaches on the session
  • Provide encouragement and general feedback to skaters
  • Help deliver a safe and fun session for everyone

Next Steps

  • Connect and collaborate with local coaches, club(s) and skating schools
  • Connect with local elementary school(s)
  • Prepare a delivery plan
  • Prepare a delivery budget
  • Answer all of the questions in the application workbook
  • Obtain letters of support
  • Submit the completed application in PDF format to

Further Information

Those individuals interested in delivering a CanSkate@School pilot program, including coaches, club board members and skating school administrators, can access further information about the program in Skate Canada’s Info Centre under Partner Programming Toolkit > Program Resources > CanSkate@School.

Contact Information

All questions related to the CanSkate@School National Pilot program, the application questions or application process should be directed

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