Figure Skating

While he does skate solo, Jayden Arsenault said he prefers synchronized skating. He’s unsure if he would like to become a professional figure skater, but he enjoys being on the ice, and the friendships he’s made since he began skating. Submitted photo

Sixteen-year-old Jayden Arsenault of Tignish started figure skating at the age of seven. The Westisle student loves the friendships he’s made through the sport, and the focus it gives him.

How did you get involved with figure skating?

I started playing hockey, and I did not like the stick, I would throw it out of my hands, so my parents put me in figure skating.

When did you realize this was something you enjoyed?

I think I really started to enjoy it five years ago when I started synchronized skating, and I met a lot of friends there, and I really enjoyed it, and I’ve been doing it ever since.

Jayden Arsenault

Jayden Arsenault has been skating since the age of seven, the 16 year old has taken part in a number of competitions over the years. He’s not sure if he’d like to become a professional figure skater, he’s enjoying the time he spends on the ice right now. Jillian Trainor photo

I imagine there’s a lot of training involved?

Depending on if you want to go professional or not. There’s a lot of physical training, like working out. I probably won’t (go professional), because it’s a lot of work. It’s every single day you’d be working out, or in the gym. It takes a toll, I’m sure.

How often do you skate?

I only started skating in Tignish again last year, I skated in O’Leary three times a week. Now I’m only skating twice a week because there’s less skaters here.

What are some of the challenges?

I work a lot, and trying to balance that, and school, and skating. My days off are Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays, and on Sundays, it’s my entire afternoon because I help coach.

I imagine it would make social life difficult.

Yeah. People will ask me stuff, and I’ll be like ‘I have skating’ or work. I didn’t have a job last year when I skated, so this year it was a shock to me how little time I have to spend with others. It can be difficult at times.

Do you get any flack for being a male figure skater? It is a sport that’s seen as being predominantly female.

I’ve never experienced that much. I did think that it was weird I was the only male figure skater for a long time. I didn’t experience much bullying, which I’m grateful for, because I know that’s probably not the case for most people. I definitely have heard some comments, like ‘That’s for girls, why do you figure skate?’ But I just didn’t let it affect me, I said because I like it.

What do you enjoy about figure skating?

It gives me something to focus on, because I want to get better, and I love the friendship, and the feeling of family that you get because everyone is there for you. I love the feeling of being able to have a group of people and know that we have common interests.

Are there any figure skaters you look up to and respect?

I definitely look up to my coaches, because they’ve been doing it for a long time and they are very helpful, and there for me. They’re good role models.

Elvis Stojko was here a few years ago, did you see that?

I did. I never spoke to him, but I was in O’Leary, because he sat on for the CanSkate session. It’s nice to see that they enjoy what they’re doing, and that skating can be a positive thing to a lot of people.

How long would you like to keep doing this?

I love skating, but is that something I want to do for the rest of my life? Not really. Even now, I find it’s becoming painful, as in I fall a lot, and I’ve had a really sore hip for a while now. I have thought about the Canada Games, but 16 is the cutoff for the Canada Games, but that’s fine, I never really that competitive of a skater, I did it because it was something I enjoy doing. Maybe if I were to pursue skating it would be with a professional synchro team, but I’m not sure.

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