Mike Harrington has some advice for parents who want to enroll their daughters in figure skating.
“Be prepared to buy lots of dresses that are worn for less than three minutes and rarely can you wear the same one twice,” he said.
“It’s not like a hockey jersey where you can wear the same one all season.”
Harrington’s three daughters, Emma, 11, Lexi, 14, and Rebecca, 22, are all involved in the Sparwood Skating Club.
By the time Emma graduates from the program, Harrington figures he’ll have been involved in the club for 24 years.
He has spent countless hours watching his daughters skate and said it is sometimes upsetting when his daughters’ routines do not get the same adulation from the judges as they do from their father.
“The good thing about hockey is if you score more goals than the other team, you win,” he said. “In figure skating it’s tough when you think they did a really good performance and the judges don’t always see that.”
But it was all worth it for Harrington when he joined an arena full of parents and supporters to see his two youngest daughters among 57 skaters performing at the Sparwood Skating Club’s end-of-season show called ‘Strong and Free’ on March 11 at the Sparwood Leisure Centre Arena.
“They learn how to be out there by themselves out in front of a crowd,” said Harrington. “It’s all them. They’ve got a big ice stage and it’s up to them to do their best.”
The skaters aged three to 14 performed in the two-hour Canadian themed show that featured over a dozen performances designed to honour the nation’s 150th birthday.