About 385 skaters, along with their coaches, family and supporters, will be in Altona at the Sunflower Gardens Arena this weekend (March 1st through 3rd) for the 2024 Skate Manitoba Provincial Championships. This is the first time the Altona Skating Club has hosted this particular event, and organizing committee chair Lisa Hiebert-Penner says participants are coming from across the province including Virden, Thompson, Winnipeg and even Kenora.

"This is our first time hosting a competition of this scale," she noted. " It's awesome. Altona is such a beautiful community, and we have hosted events of this scale in the past for baseball and hockey, so it's really great to showcase the skating world for the community."

The competition will include several different classes and levels like solos, team pairs and synchronized skating.

"We have our Star One skaters who are just learning the jumps and spins, and just getting into the figure skating world all the way up to the Novice and Junior levels," she explained. "That willl be the skaters who are really, really training, and are on the Olympic road, I would say."

Ten skaters from the Altona club are competing, with many of the other members helping in various ways over the weekend.

"The ones who aren't competing will be around the rink helping out, running report cards and helping out the judges," she said. "And I would be remiss if I didn't mention our CanSkate program, which is the kids who are just learning to skate, they're out there helping out, as well."

Golden West/CFAM Radio 950 is proud to be a sponsor of the championship.

"I just want to thank all of our sponsors," shared Hiebert-Penner. "We had a lot of of community businesses step up, with Access Credit Union our title sponsor, so thank you to them and thank you to all of our volunteers and parents, family members, everybody who's supporting our athletes."

There are still volunteer opportunities available, and the organizers would love to hear from you if you can lend a hand. Email altonaprovincialskating2024@gmail.com to indicate your interest.

The Championship is open to the public, and both day and weekend passes are available:
Adults 18+ - $5 Daily Pass, $10 Weekend Pass
Ages 7-17 - $3 Daily Pass, $5 Weekend Pass
Age 0-6 - Free admission

You can listen to CFAM Radio 950 Morning Show host Chris Sumner's conversation with Lisa Hiebert-Penner, below.