Kaydence Kaszas, Paige McEwen, Hailey Kettle, Maggie Kenzle (a graduating skater last season), Hannah Bhatti and Jordyn Brent are members of the Houston Figure Skating Club. (Photo courtesy Houston Figure Skating Club)

Local skaters, volunteers ready for regional competition this weekend

Lack of ice here means Houston Figure Skating Club is hosting in Smithers

The lack of ice at the local arena hasn’t stopped the Houston Figure Skating Club from hosting this year’s regional Kla-How-Ya regional skating competition this weekend.

An unforeseen delay in installing the new ice plant at the arena meant travelling to Smithers for practices.

And when it became apparent the new plant would not be in service in time for the competition, the club was able to secure time at the Smithers Civic Centre for the competition which runs from Nov. 29 to Dec. 1.

“Our season started off a little rocky with delays at our local arena, but our head coach, Stephanie Auston, was excellent at finding ice solutions in Smithers for our club,” says club president Elaine Kaszas.

“This of course meant more costs for parents as they had to travel for ice twice a week, and rearrange work schedules but we have to recognize and acknowledge the commitment they showed to their kids, our club and the sport.”

“When we discovered we would be unable to host our competition on home ice, our head coach again stepped up and worked with Smithers Minor Hockey and a few other user groups to free up ice so that Kla-How-Ya could still happen,” Kaszas continued.

“We are extremely grateful to those Smithers clubs for shuffling or canceling their ice so that we could still host our event.”

Ten clubs from Quesnel in the south to Mackenzie in the northeast to Prince Rupert along Hwy16 are taking part this year.

“The competition rotates through the communities each year so the option to host only comes up once a decade or so,” explained Kaszas.

“It is an excellent and special opportunity for some of our younger skaters to have their very first competition experience on home ice with a home crowd.”

Hosting and organizing a regional competition the size of Kla-How-Ya takes a small army of 100 volunteers in key areas such as planning, decorating and officiating.

“Showing true Houston spirit, our past and present members have come together and filled all the volunteer spots making this a “Disney Through the Ages” competition truly hosted by the Houston Figure Skating Club,” said Kaszas.

The club is sending 27 of its own skaters to the competition.

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Ready for this weekend’s Kla-How-Ya regional figure skating competition in Smithers are Hanna Bhatti and Charlotte Mackenzie. (Photo courtesy Houston Figure Skating Club)

Local figure skater Hailey Kettle with sign promoting this year’s Kla-How-Ya regional figure skating competition being held in Smithers. (Photo courtesy Houston Figure Skating Club)

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