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CanSkate - Skate Canada's Learn To Skate Program


New CanSkate – Get Ready!

New CanSkate On-Ice Station Signs – Now available in the Online Store

Exciting news! The new CanSkate on-ice station signs are now available for purchase through the Skate Canada Online Store.

The set consists of four signs depicting the stations required on the ice for a CanSkate session - Balance, Control, Agility and the Fun Zone. These durable, vibrant signs are made of Coroplast and include two grommets on the top corners for easy hanging / mounting on the boards or glass. Each sign measures 3 feet x 2 feet. The set comes with a handy carrying case. Order yours today!

Station Signage Replacement

As communicated in the August 27th Skate Canada update, Skate Canada will ship replacement on-ice station signs to clubs that had printed signs last season with the previous creative/artwork. Clubs will be asked to provide proof of purchase (photos and/or receipts) to Skate Canada. Please fill out the appropriate form to request your replacement signs. (available on Skate Canada's new Info Centre)

From Skate Ontario - CanSkate Kits Coming to Clubs This Fall

Skate Ontario is looking forward to an exciting fall. We are letting you know that CanSkate kits are in production and will be distributed to you this fall! Take a look at the attached flyer for all the great items that will be included in your kit.

With thanks to our partners in this project: Skate Canada, The Province of Ontario and Canadian Tire

Summer 2013 CanSkate Training Clinics

Thank you to all the Regions for helping Carol host the WO CanSkate Training Clinics! Over 700 Coaches, Senior PA’s, and Club Administrators came out to learn all about the New CanSkate!! Happy CanSkating!!!!

THE NEW CanSkate Program

CanSkate, Skate Canada’s flagship program is one of the most sought-after skating programs in Canada. CanSkate was developed by experts to teach the fundamentals of skating in a progressive manner. Designed for beginners of all ages, the focus is on fun, participation and basic skill development. Participants earn ribbons and badges as skills are mastered. Skaters are taught in a group lesson format by Skate Canada professional coaches and supported by trained program assistants. CanSkate is the foundational and feeder program for all other Skate Canada club and community ice sport programs.

Skate Canada is pleased to present some exciting changes, based on findings and feedback from coaching, sport science and Long-Term Athlete Development (LTAD) experts in the field.

Summary of the Changes

More emphasis on speed and flexibility: it is important to build in components that address the development of speed and flexibility in a more concrete way.  Speed is more of a focus with features such as the Fast Track and specific speed-related drills. Activities highlighting flexibility are incorporated into the sessions to ensure appropriate development of this skill.

Earlier introduction of edges, turns, and stroking basics: upon reviewing the program it was determined that these basic skills that are the foundation of quality skating should be given more emphasis. Therefore, more focus is placed on edges, turns, strong pushes and glides.  Sport-specific skills are introduced later in the program.

Emphasis on skill progression and repetition: better skill progressions are reinforced as the skaters develop skills.

Learn-to-skate for all: provides the opportunity for clubs to reach all prospective clientele including hockey and ringette players and speed skaters in the community who are looking for a quality generic learn-to-skate program.

CanSkate Has a Fresh New Look ON and OFF the Ice!

Technical revisions include a renewed focus on teaching and mastering strong basic skills earlier to prepare skaters for all ice sports including hockey, ringette, speed skating and figure skating. 

On-ice delivery focusing on continuous movement emphasizes the use of newer and more dynamic group teaching concepts including the Fast Track, Fun Zone and station rotation all of which has been proven to increase practice opportunities and improve the rate of skill acquisition among skaters. 

More visual aids and music are used to create a fun, stimulating and welcoming environment. 

The new look also includes new report cards and an exciting new series of award ribbons to achieve, in addition to the Stage 1 - 6 badges.

CanSkate Program Objectives

To provide participants and families with a safe, welcoming and inclusive first experience to the sport of skating

To develop skating and motor skills through natural learning phases (introduction, acquisition, retention/mastery)

To use skill progression and repetition throughout the stages to introduce physical literacy and establish quality basic skating skills

To foster personal achievements and satisfaction through skill acquisition, reward and recognition

To evoke an interest in life-long participation in skating

Program Structure and Awards

The CanSkate program curriculum is organized into six progressive stages of learning. Each stage is broken down into three Fundamental Areas:

Balance: concentrating on most forward skills, pushing technique and edges

Control: concentrating on most backwards skills, stopping and speed elements.

Agility: concentrating on most turning and jumping skills.

The awards consist of:

Three Fundamental Area ribbons for each stage

Six stage Badges


Four Parts to a CanSkate Session

Warm-up    2. Group lesson   3. Group activity   4. Cool down

CanSkate Team

The CanSkate delivery team consist of the CanSkate Coaches, Program Assistants (PAs) and the CanSkate Administrator. Following are their roles:

CANSKATE COACH: The CanSkate Coach is an individual whose status in the National Coach Certification Program (NCCP) is CanSkate Coach Trained or higher and who has complete the most recent updates as required by Skate Canada. 

The role of the CanSkate Coach may include:

Teach CanSkate skills using progressions and assess skills via the CanSkate program delivery methods

Adhere to the CanSkate delivery standards

Direct the program

Provide skaters with a fun and encouraging learning environment

Train, supervise and evaluate program assistants

Lead parent information sessions

Educate/provide advice on skating matters to club volunteers and parent resources
Also very important in maintaining customer satisfaction is the ongoing communication with parents about the programs, the objectives and expectations. Parents are looking for value and professionalism, e.g. yearly plans, monthly newsletters and weekly posters.

PROGRAM ASSISTANTS: Program Assistants (PAs) are individuals who have been trained by the club CanSkate Coach to assist in the delivery of the CanSkate program. They may vary in age and background (figure skating, hockey, adult).  They must have adequate skating skills and knowledge to be of service. Roles assigned to each PA must be appropriate for his or her age and ability.

The role of the PA may include:

Assist or lead warm-ups, group activities or cool-downs

Lead circuits and rotations

Assist with the set-up of circuits and stations

Provide assistance to skaters who may have additional needs

Take attendance

Time speed skills

Provide general assistance to the coaches on the session

Provide encouragement and general feedback to skaters

May assist with tracking of skill acquisition

CANSKATE COORDINATOR: This individual is responsible for the administration details of CanSkate.  He or she may be a volunteer or a paid staff who may or may not be a coach.

The role of the CanSkate Coordinator may include:

Organize registration for the program

Collect date from registration and place skaters into groups as per the session format indicated by the coach

Ensure there is stock on hand of badges, supplies, teaching aids, props

Work with the CanSkate coaches to ensure proper delivery of the program and ensure delivery standards are met

Assist with any materials needed for PA training

Coordinate and assist with grouping, name tags and possibly record-keeping

Ensure Parent Information sessions are scheduled, assist with set-up as required.

Sharing Ice / Private Lessons

CanSkate is a group lesson program. Group lessons have been designed to accelerate skaters through the program and ready them for the ice sport of their choice in a fun, interactive environment.  Skaters at this level learn best alongside their peers. As well, cost effectiveness for parents at this stage of learning is a key consideration. In light of this, private lessons in CanSkate are strongly discouraged. Private lessons may be offered in special circumstances in which a skater has special needs and requires extra attention for skill development. In cases like this, coaches may deliver private lessons during the warm-up or group activity/cool-down portion of the session. The number one priority for a club is to ensure that the essence of this program remains true to its objectives; therefore, the needs of the program come first.

For more information or to join a Skate Canada skating club, call the Western Ontario Section Skating Club nearest you today!

Recruiting New CanSkate Members


Participate in community program "registration" nights

Approach schools regarding offering learn to skate in Phys. Ed. and suggest that a coach will come in for those sessions

Hand out brochures outlining programs offered to DayCares, Play School, local schools

Partner with Hockey

Focus on developing the CanPowerSkate program.

Encourage the idea that it is better to take CanSkate prior to CanPowerSkate.

Promote use of hockey players (male and/or female) to work as Program Assistants.

Use testimonials from local hockey players that came out of your CanSkate program, i.e. NHL/Junior A hockey players.

Offer CanSkate Sessions

Run a Moms/Dads & Tot program in the afternoon or morning when ice costs may be less

Offer CanSkate sessions in the off-season school (Spring, Summer or Fall)

Adult Learn-to-Skate and/or Power skating sessions

'Bring a Friend' day


Promote public awareness - "Blow Your Own Horn"!

Promote activities to all club members, no matter what level

Club website.

Monthy information session held during the sessions with Club Executive and Adminstrator/Professional coach available to answer questions and hand out newsletters

For more information contact your local WO Skating Club
Carol Moir, WO Skating Programs Coordinator
519-686-0431, ext. 23



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