If you google Williams Lake and figure skating, you will find Joanne Macnair.
The coach has been teaching young people how to skate, and then to figure skate, for 43 years in the lakecity.
“I love it, I love the kids,” she said, as she finished yet another ice time with her CANSKATE program for the newest skaters. “Not everyone can say that about their job.”
Still enjoying it after four decades, Macnair said coaching still doesn’t feel like work really, because “skating is in my blood.”
Having skated all her life, she has seen the sport develop and transform, with quadruple jumps at the Olympics something few would have imagined a few decades ago.
“It’s just crazy how far it’s come.”
As the sport has transformed in this way, she said it has also meant that people are truly appreciating the athleticism involved in skating.
She can only imagine where the sport will continue to go, as she slowly winds down in her coaching career, and at this point, she doesn’t see herself retiring just yet.
She still finds it rewarding and gets a lot of satisfaction out of developing a rapport with the skaters and watching their skills grow. She added she is now teaching the children of some of her skaters from years past.
While competition has been on hold for much of the pandemic, the skaters have been able to focus on other aspects of their skill development but she is glad they are heading back to competitions in the coming weeks.
“It gives them something to be working towards,” said Macnair.