Three Oakville Girls Qualify to Represent Ontario at National Figure Skating Competition

Skaters will represent Central Ontario at the Skate Canada Challenge in Edmonton

3 young girls in skating outfits
Three Oakville Girls Qualify to Represent Ontario at National Figure Skating Competition
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Linda Nazareth

Linda Nazareth

An economist, author and broadcaster, Linda is also the Senior Fellow for Economics and Population Change at think tank The Macdonald-Laurier Institute. Linda lives in Oakville with her husband and daughter. She campaigned in the 2014 Municipal Election for Ward 5.

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Three skaters who reside in Oakville have qualified to represent Central Ontario at the upcoming 2015 Skate Canada Challenge. After competing at the recent Central Ontario Sectionals Competition, Natalie Walker, Madeline Schizas and Abigail Leinweber are now headed to Edmonton to vie against the best skaters in the country.

This will be the second trip to Challenge for Natalie Walker, who will compete at the Ladies Novice level. She is the 2015 Pre-Novice National Silver Medalist as well as the Silver Medalist at the 2015 Canada Winter Games. If she finishes in the top third of competitors, she will move on to the Canadian Tire National Figure Skating Championships in Halifax in January. “I’m hoping to achieve a personal best performance in Edmonton” she says.

Madeline Schizas and Abigail Leinweber placed 4th and 6th respectively out of 75 skaters competing at the Pre-Novice level at Sectionals and will compete at Challenge for the first time.

Based on her score at Sectionals, twelve-year-old Schizas, is now ranked amongst the top 10 skaters at her level in the country. “My goal is to be in the top 5 after short program” she says, adding that she hopes to land her first triple jump in competition at Challenge.

Leinweber, also 12, is the 2015 Juvenile Ladies Provincial Bronze Medalist. “I am excited to have landed my jumps cleanly at Sectionals” she says, “and I plan to do that again in Edmonton”.

The girls are coached by Nancy Lemaire, Pavol Porac, and Ann and Paul Fisher of the Milton Skating Club. They have also benefitted from consultations with former National Ladies Figure Champion Valerie Bartlett and skate Canada specialist, Barry Bartlett, who are Oakville residents. All are enrolled in the ‘High Performance’ program for athletes at W.I. Dick Middle School in Milton, which allows Halton students training for national level competitions to balance academics with their training.

“Central Ontario is arguably the most difficult section in the country in which to qualify” says Lemaire. “And Ladies Singles is arguably the most difficult category. These girls have worked extremely hard to be where they are ”.

The Skate Canada Challenge will be held in Edmonton from December 2nd to 5th, 2015.

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