How do you turn around a skating club where membership and interest are rapidly dwindling? As Tina Matykowski, co-president of the Janesville Figure Skating Club, succinctly puts it, "It took a bunch of moms." About three years ago, the board of directors (comprised mostly of moms) decided to take charge and focus their efforts on increasing membership. In order to accomplish this, they expanded the club's activities to more than just figure skating. The club's philosophy was to emphasize the fun and social aspect of joining the club, so in addition to skating, it's members enjoyed baseball game outings, picnics, cookouts, swim parties and car washes, to name a few. And the result? Today, the club is 50+ strong, still remains a social enterprise, and the board hopes to increase membership in the coming months, while continuing to support it's young skaters.
The club is also extremely proud of the Spice on Ice show that they have been putting together every November for the last four years. Spice on Ice is a free event sanctioned by U.S. Figure Skating. For 2007, 25 skaters performed in the event, which is also an opportunity for the higher level skaters to run through their programs before regionals. There is a lot of community involvement in making the show a success and Tina and the rest of the club look forward to Spice on Ice 2008!
Recently, the club's skaters also competed in the Badger State Winter Games, open to residents of Wisconsin. Ten skaters, ranging in ages from 6 to 14, from Janesville FSC participated in the figure skating competition. Medals are awarded for first, second and third place, and the Janesville skaters brought home 14 medals! (Tina's 11 year-old-daughter, Miranda, competed in the short program, long program and interpretative skating and medaled in all three -- Go Miranda!) The medalists are now eligible to compete in the State Games of America, which are held every two years. The 2009 State Games of America will be held July 30 - August 2 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Previous State Games athletes include Nancy Kerrigan and Paul Wylie (who trained at one time in Janesville).
Looking forward, the club is preparing for the SK8N On the Rock Basic Skills Competition, to be held on May 17, 2008.
Best of luck to Janesville FSC and be sure to get involved with all that the club has to offer. And as usual, thanks Moms!
(The Clubs count segments highlight the great work of skating clubs from around the world. Clubs form the backbone of our sport, nurturing the love of skating at all levels, sponsoring upcoming champions and forming a supportive environment for children and adults alike. If you would like to highlight the great work of your club, please drop me an e-mail at susan(at)icedigitalmedia(dot)net. Thank you and for more great club profiles, click here!)