On September 25th, 2009, three coaches from NCSA, Mary, Gene and Greg became part of the Oakland Ice Skate School staff. We came armed with brochures, stickers, pencils ready to teach . . . . our 1 student . . . Max. It took a while to figure out how to teach a sport that requires a 190 x 100 ft ice surface on a 6 ft wide strip going across the center of the rink. The 1 hour session is divided into a 30 minute lesson and a 30 minute free skate. Our first lesson was one of the longest 1/2 hours that we had ever experienced.
After the lesson, we pulled out a stopwatch (aka - new speedskater magnet). Next thing you know, we had 8 kids gathered around us and we were using up every bit of our 6 ft strip of ice real estate. By the second lesson, we had 4 students for the class, 12 kids for the games. By the end of the semester, we had 8 students in the class and we were terrorizing the other skate school instructors. Some of the other instructors were talking to us about taking our class.
The classes have grown and been polished quite a bit. We average between 14-20 skaters per class. We teach entry level, novice and intermediate skaters. Our 6 ft strip in the center of the ice has grown to 1/2 the ice surface. Our staff now included Kimon, Sean, Bob and Anna. A lot of skaters have transitioned into the evening program. Some of the evening skaters come to the class to brush up on their technique. The youngest skater we've worked with was 4 years old. Our oldest skater is 66 years young. After a year of classes, lots of skate sharpening, tying shoelaces and fixing skates Mary, Gene and Greg are still teaching, we've had a lot of fun and hope to continue for quite a while.