Ava Sanderson competes at B.C. & Yukon Sectional Championships. Courtesy Photo.

Kelowna Skating Club skaters take home 10 medals and three provincial titles

Ava Sanderson was among the winners of the 2019 B.C and Yukon Sectional Championships

The Kelowna Skating Club and Centre of Excellence made an impact at the 2019 B.C. and Yukon Sectional Championships, held in Coquitlam last week.

Local skaters came away with 10 medals through seven events, including three provincial titles.

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Ava Sanderson, a competitor in the juvenile women’s under 14 division, won both the title and the artistic award with a personal score of 29.18.

“The best part is always after you finish. It’s such a good feeling knowing you did your very best. It was especially great because this season has been high and low, so I’m glad I ended on a good note,” said Sanderson, who’ll now work towards the pre novice level.

“Reaching this achievement (winning juvenile U14) means I get to work on new things. That would mean double axels, difficult spins, and a longer program.”

Sanderson wasn’t the only skater from the KSC who had success in Coquitlam.

At the junior level, 15-year-old Emma Bulawka landed seven triple jumps to win the title and artistic award with a personal best total score of 156.18 points.

“From the moment I stepped on the ice, I felt the energy in the entire building. My heart was pumping and I just wanted to show off all that I had worked on and mastered from the weeks leading up. When I finished my program, I knew I had just laid it down and executed both programs to the best of my ability, with a few wobbles here and there,” said Bulawka.

“It’s so exciting to compete in my home province and showcase all the hard work my teammates and I have put in. But I can’t take all the credit. If it weren’t for my amazing on ice and off ice coaches, I would not be where I am today. I am so grateful for my mom and dad and all my siblings who I can always count on to give me the best pre-competition pep talks.”

Bulawka finished ninth at the Junior Grand Prix of Austria earlier in the fall, competing against some of the best junior skaters in the world.

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Other KSC skaters who had success included Megan Yudin who scored a personal best 33.54 points to capture gold and the artistic award in the juvenile women under 12 event. Konstantina Lock had a personal best and captured the same event’s bronze medal. Sarah Mullins, who won silver in the women’s under 14 just behind Sanderson, Daria Carr who finished fourth in the Junior level, Vienna Harwood came second in the novice level and won the event’s artistic award. Mikayla Kramer, Olivia Gran, Emily Sales, Ariana Rose, and Calissa Adlem all had outstanding performance’s in their respective skates.

Sanderson said the KSC has been an amazing team to be a part of.

“I’m extremely lucky to have joined this club, as every skater is welcoming and understanding,” she said. “The Kelowna Skating Club is a community of people who cheer you on and celebrate milestones. Every once in a while we have an event, like our sections send-off party, where we get together and have fun. I think this really encourages every skater to connect and be positive to each other.”

Besides the competitions and travel, Sanderson has simple reasons on why she loves to skate.

“It’s because of the excitement. Every jump, every program, every new move is an achievement in the hour that you practice. Another thing that keeps me going is the artistic side of skating. I love being able to perform and tell a story, especially in a competition. It’s uncomfortable at first because you are smiling at strangers, but I’ve done it so many times that it gives me a warm feeling inside that only happens in those few moments of my two and a half minute program. Skating is very hard, but every day, I show up at the rink and put my skates on.”

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