For fun, fitness, creativity + relaxation: Mom embraces the unique possibilities of ice skating

Skating sessions just one of many activities to enjoy with your Saanich Access Pass

Gayeon Son celebrates her silver medal at the 2018 ISU competition in Vancouver. Inspired by her son, Gayeon took up figure skating as an adult, practising at Pearkes rec centre.

Gayeon Son celebrates her silver medal at the 2018 ISU competition in Vancouver. Inspired by her son, Gayeon took up figure skating as an adult, practising at Pearkes rec centre.

When Gayeon Son’s young son, June, started skating, she wanted to learn too.

A former competitive swimmer, Gayeon was a true rookie when it came to the ice, but with her love of activity and shared family recreation, and, yes, a little of that competitive spirit, she was spinning around the rink in no time.

As June, now 10 years old, progressed, Gayeon wanted to improve, too. “I wasn’t very good, so I put myself in lessons – I wanted to learn how to figure skate,” she says.

In fact, with her lessons bolstered by practice sessions at Saanich’s Pearkes Recreation Centre, especially the reserved drop-in Adult / Figure Skate that she could easily access with her Access Pass, Ga Yeon soon found her stride in adult figure skating competitions.

In fact, she earned a bronze her first year, followed by a silver in her second!

“I really utilized Pearkes arena a lot. Because I had been a competitive swimmer, I knew that practice makes perfect,” she says.

While Gayeon isn’t currently competing much, you’ll still see her among the “regulars” at Pearkes’ adult / figure skating session, or enjoying a spin around the ice with June during an Open Skate.

The creativity that figure skating allows, not to mention the workout, have made the ice rink one of her happy places, especially with the welcoming, positive environment at the Saanich rink.

“You have room to be expressive with the movement, blending the physical and the graceful,” she explains. And gliding around the ice, “it’s almost therapeutic at the same time.”

Not to mention a great cardio workout that doesn’t necessarily ‘feel’ like a workout! “The feeling I get is just awesome.”

Gayeon Son, right, her son June and family friend Cecilia Lopena take a spin around the Pearks arena during a public skate.

Gayeon Son, right, her son June and family friend Cecilia Lopena take a spin around the Pearks arena during a public skate.

READ MORE: Growing up with Saanich Recreation: Rewarding career starts at the pool

Reserved drop-in skating is just one of many activities easily accessed with your Saanich Continuous Access Pass, which provides access to all four of Saanich’s recreation centres. In addition to skating, there’s swimming for fitness and recreation at Gordon Head and Commonwealth Place, waterfit and drop-in sports.

As public health protocols allow, a variety of fitness classes, beginner yoga and drop-in access to the four rec centre weight rooms will also again be available with your pass.

Following feedback from recreation centre patrons, Saanich updated and simplified its Access Pass last fall so that it renews automatically each month, either to a credit card or a bank withdrawal, and can be easily stopped at any time. You can even find an instruction manual here that shares how to buy a pass online, or call or stop in to your local rec centre.

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