a Watford Skating Club - Watford, Ontario, Canada. Serving Strathroy, Pertolia, Wyoming & Alvinston Figure Skaters
Watford Skating Club Skaters


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Skills, Tests, Achievement, Recognition – this is what STARSkate is all about! STARSkate offers opportunities for skaters of all ages to develop fundamental figure skating skills in the areas of free skate, ice dance, skating skills, and interpretive skating. This program teaches figure skating skills in a group format in a progressive and sequential manner. Skaters have the opportunity to complete tests and compete in local and provincial competitions.


CanSkate is a dynamic learn-to-skate program that focuses on fun, participation and basic skill development. Based on Sport Canada’s long term athlete development (LTAD) principles, CanSkate centers on physical literacy and the fundamental skills needed to take part in any ice sport or to skate as a recreational activity. It is for beginners of all ages, taught by NCCP-trained professional coaches and assisted by trained volunteer program assistants. Canskate offers a complete series of balance, control and agility skills taught in 5 stages that pertain to hockey, ringette, speed skating and figure skating. It uses nationally-tested and proven curriculum and delivery methods that guarantee the quick development of strong basic skills. Lessons are provided in a group format with a ratio maximum of 1:10. Skaters progress at their own rate and sessions are active with the use of teaching aids, music and activities. Badges, ribbons and stickers are used to benchmark skaters’ progress and reward effort and participation.


Skaters who wish to challenge their figure skating skills and who show potential as competitive skaters can participate in the CompetitiveSkate program. These skaters compete in qualifying events that allow them the opportunity to compete nationally. Skaters learn a variety of life skills alongside their complex skating skills. These include goal setting, focus, the ability to deal with success/failure, time management and the principles of fair play and sportsmanship. Historically the Watford Skating Club has produced a surprising number of national level athletes given its size and location.


Figure Skating Coach Robyn Van Kessell
Robyn (Sitlington) Van Kessel – Head Coach

Skating since age 3 Robyn competed Nationally as a Junior and Senior Lady from 1999-2001. She graduated from the University of Windsor with Honours in Psychology in 2006 and worked as a Child Protection Worker with the Children’s Aid Society until 2011 when she and her husband began operating Which Came First Inc. and she decided to coach full-time. She has been coaching since 2008 and is currently certified as a Provincial Coach and is undergoing the training to certify as a Level 3/National Coach. She has a Gold status in Skate Canada’s CEP (Continuous Education Program) and has been the Watford Skating Club’s Head Coach since 2012.

Figure Skating Coach Dianne Szmiett
Diane Szmiett - Coach

Diane began skating at age seven at the Watford Skating Club. During her skating career she was named the 2006 Canadian National Junior Champion and represented Canada at two World Junior Championships. In 2008, she competed on the Junior Grand Prix circuit winning silver and bronze medals in Courchevel, France and South Africa. Diane also competed internationally on the senior level for 2 years before retiring from skating in 2011. During her skating career Diane also attended University and attained a Bachelor of Medical Science, a Master of Science, and a Bachelor of Education. In addition to coaching with the WSC she is a teacher with the St. Clair Catholic District School Board.

Figure Skating Coach Candace Power
Candace Power - Coach

Candace began skating at the age of three, but only began pursuing competitive skating at the age of sixteen. She worked her way up to compete in Novice ladies, Junior ladies, and then ending her skating career winning a gold medal in the Junior bronze Triathlon category at the Ontario Starskate championships in 2014. She also attained her Gold free skate, her Gold interpretive and, continues to work on attaining her Gold dances and Gold skills. Candace has a love for fitness,dance and interpretation both on and off of the ice, these qualities make her a great asset to the Watford Skating Clubs skaters and coaching team. Candace studied at Lambton College and is now working as a Registered Massage Therapist in Watford.