Sitting happily in the near empty stands at TOGP arena is Brian Brezden, a Dauphin dad who makes a weekly trip to bring his daughter, Breken to Virden where she is a student of skating coach Patricia Hole.
“It’s character building,” he says. “The girls are all well trained, well behaved.”
Breken is a tiny girl, a senior in the Pre-Novice category.
The make the drive from Dauphin every Tuesday. Breken skates Tuesday night, they stay in Virden, she skates Wednesday morning before they head back to Dauphin where she gets to school for Wednesday afternoon classes.
On Friday, Oct. 19, dad and daughter were in Virden for the second time that week.
“Because we had simulations here today, we decided to come last night. She skated last night and this morning,” says Brezden.
Like male pairs skater Marty Haubrich, Brezden was also a hockey player first.
The diminutive Dauphin girl is not the type you’d expect to see in a hockey jersey. At 12 she would soon be into body contact; but there were also other reasons for her switch.
Her dad laughs and says, “She loves skating and loves the dresses, hockey took back seat.”
Within figure skating she has also found a niche she wants to pursue.
“Breken tried out pairs this spring to see if she would like it.” She found it “very interesting.” Unfortunately, her partner didn’t continue. Brezden said the consensus among the parents he’s talked to is a need for more boys to take up the sport.
“At least she knows she loves it. She’ll find somebody else,” he said.
Breken attended Cutting Edge skating school during the summer. “We stayed in the campground for a month and a half.”
He says his daughter appreciates the coaches and the atmosphere of the Virden-based summer school. “You get kids in the summer that come for the five weeks from Russell, Saskatchewan, places like that. All the girls are friends, buddies.”