In Focus: Bemidji Figure Skating Club Hosts First Skate-A-Thon
The Bemidji Figure Skating Club has been a part of the community for more than 50 years. This past weekend, they wanted to give back by hosting a skate-a-thon, and the afternoon on the ice turned out to be a big success.
There were open skate sessions and then a few performances from the club members. Five-time Minnesota state champion and Olympic hopeful Wren Warne-Jacobson opened with a breathtaking performance. She got here start right here in Bemidji.
“I took my first step on the ice right here when I was 5 1/2 and I just fell in love with it. I love skating and just feeling the wind in my face when we can go fast,” says Warne-Jacobson.
The Skate-A-Thon wasn’t just to showcase some fabulous skills. The night was meant as a fundraiser to help the future Olympic team.
“With the Olympics coming up in February, they decided to create something called Destination PyeongChang that is for the families of the US figure skaters to be able to travel to Korea. They just asked clubs around the country if they would just hold a skate-a-thon, so we were up for the challenge,” says Bemidji Figure Skating Club President Nancy Neis, speaking about the US figure skating organization.
The Skate-A-Thon had everything from Olympic hopefuls and big jumps to even a skating Santa.
“Skating is a lifelong sport,” says Neis, “They’ll be able to skate their whole life recreationally or competitively into college, or dance lines or figure skating lines.”
And if you ask the dancers, they agree there’s nothing like being on the ice.
“My favorite thing about skating is probably the ice shows and preparing for them. They’re just so fun for the community and anyone who wants to come,” says figure skater Darby Neis.
“When I go out there and I can just express myself and skate to the music, it’s my favorite thing in the world and I love it,” says Warne-Jacobson.
Next, the Bemidji Figure Skating Club is getting ready to partner with US Figure Skating again for their “Get-Up” program in February. They say the night wouldn’t be possible without their sponsors.
“We’re starting to get a little name for ourselves! People from Minneapolis like to come up to Bemidji because it’s a fun place to come and their girls will take some tests and compete,” says Neis.
If you’re thinking of hitting the ice, Warne-Jacobson says, “Never give up! It can be hard sometimes and there are ups and downs, but just remember that you can do this and keep believing.”
The Bemidji Figure Skating Club will have a big show at the Sanford Center this upcoming March. Potential skaters can join the club through their website here.