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Young skater travelled to Prince Rupert for major event

And local club still searching for a coach
Mylee Roney skated at the Kla How Ya competition in Prince Rupert this past weekend. (Submitted photo/Houston Today)

There might not be an active figure skating club in Houston this year, but that has not stopped one young skater from continuing to perfect her skills.

Mylee Roney, 9, makes the trip regularly to neighbouring Smithers to skate with that club.

“She’s currently training twice a week in Smithers, and hopes to attend regionals in January for the first time ever,” says aunt Elaine Kaszas.

“It’s been a challenge for her skating in a new club but she’s a hard working, determined little girl.”

But in advance of Regionals, Mylee was in Prince Rupert Dec. 2 to Dec. 4 as one of the Smithers club’s skaters participating in the annual Kla How Ya competition.

Kla How Ya, which is held in a different location each year, attracts figure skating clubs from as far away as Quesnel.

Mylee, who has been skating since she was three, performed a star 2 freeskate solo, as well as a showcase event.

“She’s super excited to attend Kla How Ya in Prince Rupert this year, a great experience for her as we get back to normal after the pandemic,” said Kaszas of her niece prior to the Prince Rupert competition.

Leading up to the trip to Prince Rupert, the Smithers club’s skaters held a Kla How Ya dress rehearsal the weekend before to fine tune their performances.

This was the first time in seven years the Kla How Ya skating competition has been held in Prince Rupert.

The expression means ‘hello’ in the trading language called Chinook, a once widely-used way to communicate among diverse linguistic groups in the northwestern portion of North America.

The Houston Figure Skating Club most recently also played host to Kla How Ya in 2019 but because there was no ice available at the arena here, the club was able to use the Smithers arena instead.

Kaszas, a long time member of the executive of the Houston Figure Skating Club, said it was disappointed at having to cancel programming this skating season.

“Unfortunately we do not have a club this year as we do not have a coach,” she said.

“Our coach resigned last season and so far we are unable to find a replacement.”

Smaller clubs in smaller communities have to compete against larger clubs in larger communities who can employ coaches full time because they have access to ice all year round.

“Unfortunately coaches are sparse and most training happens in the lower mainland. It is hard to get a full time coach with training only available seasonally,” she said.

“Many other facilities offer year round ice and coaches work full time in these positions. For our little town we just don’t have that so it’s hard to appeal to someone to move here for part time, seasonal work,” Kaszas added.

Those interested are welcome to contact Kaszas for more information at or via phone 250-845-4907.

About the Author: Rod Link

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