In August 2015 a new development project was started by Western Province Figure Skating with Ricardo Jacobs heading the Stepping Stones Project.
This came about after some time and consideration was taken to work at finding young potential talents – initially chosen from the previously disadvantaged for the first 10 boys and girls – 5 children from Junior Blades and 5 from Black Panthers. The main aim was to help young children at club level and raise them to hopefully reach a competitive level.
These children were sponsored for the Wednesday session with a 15 minute warm up, half an hour On Ice lessons and another half hour Off Ice training – all this supplied by professional coaches and was arranged for a 6 month period.
The first 6 months proved to show wonderful improvement and confidence in the children as they developed in their skating weekly. By request from the parents they were fortunate enough to have this extended whilst a second group of 20 children were added to Stepping Stones Wednesday Project.
As the groups start and end their season, Ricardo monitors and pairs children with coaches who he feels they are best suited to, based on their level of skill thus far. Toward the end of each season parents have to arrange for private lessons with the coaches for their children.
As these groups come to the end of their Stepping Stones Wednesday sessions, they make space for further young potential skaters to be given this special opportunity.
We wish all these children well as they work hard with private coaches and at the same time look forward to seeing many more young children being given this special opportunity to develop in this wonderful sport.