It’s going to be a summer full of unique training opportunities for local figure skater Sarah Kedves.
The 13-year-old Grade 7 student at École Davis Road and Fuller Lake Skating Club member is off to Edmonton once school ends to train with Canadian champion and World Championship medallist Kaetlyn Osmond at the Ice Palace at West Edmonton Mall. After this week-long intensive training, Kedves and her pairs partner Lucas Pallard, a Grade 11 student at Nanaimo District Secondary School, will spend seven weeks in Victoria, where they will train with Racquet Club of Victoria Figure Skating.
Kedves and Pallard finished the competitive season by competing in the recent May Day Provincial Competition in Surrey. They were the only pairs team in the province, so they were able to skate and then sit down with technical specialists and judges for personal feedback, explained Kedves’ mother, Alice, noting they received the comment “beautiful position” for their death spiral.
Kedves has been figure skating since she was three. She also umpires baseball and competes in track and field, and she recently finished first in high jump at the district championship meet.
“My favourite part of skating is the new choreography,” she said. “You have to have lots of emotion. I don’t know what it is about it, but I feel like I’m at home when I’m skating.”
Alice remembers that Sarah was about two when she wanted to start skating, but Alice was pregnant, and she had to wait until her mother could come on the ice with her to take lessons.
“She was always really funny,” said Alice. “In CanSkate, she wouldn’t do any of the skills. They would go from one side of the arena to the other side and they were supposed to skull or something like that, and all she would do is dig in her picks and run across the ice. She wanted to get to the other side faster than anybody else.”
Kedves started doing solos before she started kindergarten.
“She was probably about four, and they had this skate-a-thon where they skate around in a circle around and around again, and she was so bored skating around in circles that she started doing spirals,” recalled Alice. “So one of the coaches came over to me and said ‘any kid who wants to spiral a skate-a-thon needs to start competing.’”
Kedves has been skating pairs for almost one year. She was skating in Nanaimo when her old coach suggested she and Pallard try skating together.
“I was really scared at first,” she said. “I was really scared I was going to fall on my head because there are a lot of lifts.”
Since Kedves and Pallard started skating together last July, they have gotten close to being able to complete a double twist. They compete at the pre-novice level.
“We can do a bunch of lifts like star lift, pressure lift, platter lift,” said Kedves. “We kind of made up a lift because we didn’t know what to call it because it’s not like a platter lift or a star lift, so we called it a splatter lift.”
They also do death spirals, spiral sequences, pairs spins and other elements.
“It’s fun,” said Kedves. “I’m not as scared any more that I will fall on my face.”
While skating pairs, Kedves continues to skate singles, and she is going into the pre-novice level.
Kedves doesn’t know what to expect when she goes to Edmonton to train with Osmond and Walia.
“They didn’t tell us what we’re going to do,” she laughed. “I’m kind of scared I’m going to get trampled by Kaetlyn Osmond; she skates really fast.”
There is a group of six girls on Vancouver Island who are the same age and same level, and their coach in Victoria asked Osmond’s coach, Ravi Walia, if they could come to Edmonton for an intensive camp, explained Alice, noting Walia is a world technical specialist, and their coach thought it would be good motivation for the girls to see a female who can land triple jumps.
Kedves will spend one week in Edmonton and then she heads straight to Victoria, where she will do pairs training with Pallard and singles training. Kedves and her family will stay in their trailer in Victoria for seven weeks while she does daily on-ice and off-ice sessions.
“I like summer skating better because you get lunch break and you get to hang out with all your friends, and on weekends, I get to come home and umpire,” said Kedves.
In her pairs skating, Kedves has her sights set on competing at the Western Challenge western Canadian championships this December.