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Connaught ready for provincial spotlight

Richmond club sends 35 skaters to Parksville for B.C./Yukon Sectional Championships

Richmond’s Connaught Skating Club is well-represented at this weekend’s B.C./Yukon Sectional Championships in Parksville with 35 skaters slated to compete.

For a number of Connaught members it will be the biggest skate of their lives as the Richmond club heads to Parksville this week for the B.C./Yukon Sectional Championships.

Connaught will have a large contingent as usual with 35 skaters slated to compete.

“For about 10 of them it will be their first provincial championship. It’s a really exciting experience for them,” explained Connaught director of programs and competitive head coach Keegan Murphy. “Just to go to your first provincials takes five to six years of skating. Some of them are only eight-or-nine-years-old and we are really proud to be sending them. It’s special for them and their family.”

Connaught has developed a reputation for developing skaters at the younger levels for the province’s biggest stage and this year is no exception.

Murphy pointed out how a third of the 24-skater Pre-Juvenile Ladies competition in Parksville will feature Connaught members. The Juvenile Women (U12) division has an even greater representation with seven of the 15 skaters.

“It’s something to be proud of producing that kind of quality,” Murphy continued. “Of course not all of them can be on the podium but just getting to that level is a big achievement. It’s going to be a fun week.”

Connaught also has a number athletes who will be looking to advance from Sectionals to represent B.C. at the upcoming Skate Canada Western Challenge in Montreal. Among them is Wesley Chiu who has stepped up to the Novice Men’s level after a big 2016-17 season that saw him win silver in Pre-Novice at Western Challenge.

He was invited to a national camp in Montreal and a strong summer of skating earned him a direct spot back to the Western Challenge.

“There are between five to 10 kids with the potential of going to Montreal,” added Murphy. “We think we can come away with a couple of medals this weekend but ultimately you just want every kid to do their personal best.”

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