Sara Chant’s love of skating helped the Elkhorn product place second among the province’s best skaters in the junior ladies category at the Skate Manitoba Junior Senior Sectionals Championship.
“She is a kid who just loves to skates. … She skates to her potential every day,” coach Patty Hole of Virden said. “She gives me 110 per cent every day.”
The daughter of Jennifer and Rob Chant battled through injuries in the summer. Hole emphasized that “She has trained very, very hard.” At the Nov. 5-6 event in Stonewall, that hard work definitely paid off as the Elkhorn Figure Skating Club member posted her personal best total score.
“I personally really enjoy the support aspect of Skate Manitoba, and how we can compete against each other and collectively push to new levels but still support one another in a way that most people don’t get in bigger provinces,” Chant said.
A highlight of her Stonewall skates was her success in the spin elements.
“She really made sure those spins came up to par and got level fours and threes,” Hole said.
Chant embraces the competitive aspect of her sport.
“I enjoy getting on the ice in front of the judges and striving not only to be among the top competitors but to beat my own personal best scores and reach for new targets,” she said. “Skating is constantly changing so there is always something that you’re not so great at. Having a sport like figure skating change all the time can be discouraging for some but for me, it’s the reason why I love it, because every year there is a new challenge.’
The Elkhorn School Grade 12 student impresses off the ice with her attitude and personality just as much as she does with her skills on it.
“She is just a gem,” Hole said. “People love being around her. … She is polite. There are so many positive things around this girl.”
The coach said that Chant is “one of the biggest team cheerleaders.”
“She will go and cheer everyone on – even her opponents. … She is everyone’s biggest cheerleader.”
Chant trains at Skate Virden. She appreciates the many coaches who have supported her over the years.
“I am so grateful for their dedication and drive to push me and see the best in me from Patty, Tammy, Jen and Bryce this training season,” Chant said.
When she was three, her parents enrolled her in Elkhorn’s Canskate program. She learned the fundamentals of skating there and now shares her love of skating as an instructor in the same program.
“My parents always encouraged me to continue skating as I continued to show a passion for it,” Chant said. “When I was 10, I had the decision of whether or not to skate competitively. My parents made it clear that it was my choice. I made the decision to skate competitively and I am so glad I did. Throughout the years my parents have drove me to practice four or five days a week until I was old enough to start driving myself. We have all spent countless hours driving in snow, sun, and rain. I’m always at the rink early as I like to be punctual and set the tone for my competitions.”
Skate Dauphin’s Breken Brezden, who splits her training between working with Hole in Virden and Jen Jackson in Hamilton, topped the podium in the junior ladies competition in Stonewall. Hole said she saw a “big difference on her skates.”
“I felt she came in really focused,” Hole said. “She took responsibility on her performances.”
Brezden said, “I set a couple of goals for this competition and I achieved most of them, so I’m really happy with things went. I did make a couple of mistakes, but I know the things I can work to improve.”
Brezden qualified for the Skate Canada Challenge in Winnipeg Nov. 30-Dec. 3. The top 18 skaters in her category there will qualify for National Skating Championships in Oshawa.
The Challenge provides her with another opportunity to skate closer to home. It is one of the aspects she appreciated about competing in Stonewall.
“I really enjoy being able to perform for my friends and family. … A lot of people that my parents knew and that I knew were able to come in and were able to watch. That was really nice.”