Sharpening the competition: 245 figure skaters compete at provincial level

Skate Newfoundland and Labrador's provincial championships brought out 245 figure skaters from across the province to Mount Pearl over the weekend.

Athletes from across Newfoundland and Labrador hit the ice at the Glacier in Mount Pearl

Medallists for the Novice Women were given out at lunchtime Sunday. From left, Susan Dean (Skate Newfoundland and Labrador), Hayley Dalton (silver), Kaley Rose-Blake (gold), Hannah Sheehan (bronze).

Newfoundland and Labrador's finest figure skaters were heating up the ice in Mount Pearl this weekend.

The 2018 Provincial Championships began Friday and continue into Sunday evening, with 245 skaters competing.

"We have some very promising up and coming skaters," said Susan Dean, Skate Newfoundland and Labrador's branding and production manager.

Susan Dean is Skate Newfoundland and Labrador's branding and production manager. (Alyson Samson/CBC)

Skaters from all over the island and Labrador compete to medal and qualify for the Atlantic Canada Skating Championships in Halifax in April.

This is the end of the season for many skaters, the last competition of the year if they don't qualify for the Atlantic championship.

More competitions than before

In the last few years Skate Newfoundland and Labrador have upped their game, bringing more competitions, more skaters from around the province to the competitions, and the events are now complete with live streaming for television and online.

"Skating has become such a great thing with the Olympics happening. We're one of the go-to sports," she said.

It's almost impossible to bring up skating at the Olympics without a whisper of the name Kaetlyn Osmond in this province

"Kaetlyn started with us, we're very proud of her accomplishments so we're looking forward to see what she's going to display at the Olympics," Dean said.

Stephen Jerrett is a proud father when his son Riley came off the ice.

"A lot of time goes into it for the kids," Stephen Jerrett said.

Skating is life

"My 16-year-old is just happiest in a pair of skates, whether it's figure skating, dance singles, playing hockey or reffing hockey or coaching … he just loves being in a pair of skates," he said.

The Jerretts travelled from Botwood for this competition. Most of their winter is spent in hotel rooms between hockey games and figure skating competitions.

Stephen Jerrett travels all over the province with his son Riley for both hockey and figure skating competitions. (Alyson Samson/CBC)

"It's a lot of planning, a lot of travel, and a lot of dedication," Stephen Jerrett said.

"This is setting them up for life. They'll learn skills in skating that will serve them well into their mid-years, like myself," he said.

Riley Jerrett will be heading to the Newfoundland and Labrador Winter Games in Corner Brook next.

"I just worked as hard as I could as often as I could," Riley Jerrett said.

Riley competes in two different styles of figure skating, so his training is divided between both.

Riley Jerrett, with his Seaport Skaters teammate Brooklyn Watkins, has to switch back and forth between two pairs of skates for separate categories. (Alyson Samson/CBC)

"I have two different pairs of skates. One's for singles and one's for dance, so I always have to be switching back and forth between those," he said.

Dance, as he explained, has no jumps and it's skated by two people mimicking the same moves. Singles includes more elements such as jumps and spins.

"They're both completely different so I have to spend half a session in one pair [of skates] and half a session in the other just so I can do dance and singles," Riley Jerrett said.

Dreams of Canada Games 2019

Hayley Dalton is with the Conception Bay South Figure Skating Club, and her coach Matt Power was there to see her through her performance.

"I'm feeling pretty happy for where I am in the season, just getting over an injury," Hayley Dalton said.

Hayley Dalton of the Conception Bay South Figure Skating Club, with her coach Matt Power, has her sights set on the 2019 Canada Games. (Alyson Samson/CBC)

Dalton aspires to hit the ice at the 2019 Canada Winter Games and wants to add new jumps to her program.

"It's lots of strength training and repetition," she said.

Dalton left with a silver medal around her neck for the Novice Women category, but her favourite part of the competition is getting everyone together.  

"Getting to see the people that we don't normally see from across the province is a lot of fun," she said.