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Bennett, Blake committed to doing what it takes to punch ticket to 2019 Canada Winter Games

Rebecca Bennett is planning to keep busy over the summer as she strives for a spot on the Newfoundland and Labrador figure skating team for the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer, Alta.
Rebecca Bennett is planning to keep busy over the summer as she strives for a spot on the Newfoundland and Labrador figure skating team for the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer, Alta. - FILE

Have you thought about what it would mean to skate for your province at the 2019 Canada Winter Games?

Corner Brook figure skater Rebecca Bennett was pretty witty in her response to the question.

“I haven’t had time to think, I’ve been so busy,” the 13-year-old said with a hearty chuckle earlier this week.

Busy is an understatement for a petite girl who is willing to take a lot of bumps and bruises in her desire to be the best she can be on a pair of skates.

Rebecca and fellow Corner Brook Silver Blades skater Caylie Blake travelled to Toronto last week as part of a Newfoundland and Labrador skating group to attend a jumping seminar hosted by Canadian figure skating coach Michelle Leigh.

Rebecca and Caylie were the only two skaters from the west coast afforded a chance to train with Leigh as top prospects for Newfoundland and Labrador’s skating team for the 2019 Canada Winter Games.

Rebecca was happy to invest in her future by sharing the ice with a coach who has earned respect from skaters and coaches around the world. 

Caylie Blake
Caylie Blake

“She’s worked with international skaters all over the world and she has learned a lot of stuff, so she was very helpful,” Rebecca said.

She learned a lot about how to improve her jumps and what needs to be done this year to improve her stock as a Team NL hopeful, but she also felt good about a bit of advice Leigh shared with her over the weekend.

“Make your goals and strive to achieve them, and that’s going to be helpful to help me get to the Canada Games this year,” Rebecca said of a conversation she is going to use to fuel her passion for her No. 1 thing to do outside the classroom at Corner Brook Intermediate.

All those early morning rises to practice. Doing homework on buses and airplanes because skating takes her out of school from time to time. The bumps, lumps and ups and downs of all those competitions along the way.

She wouldn’t change a thing. She knows what she wants and she’s going for it with her mind set on doing whatever it takes to get the job done, because it would be a special time in her life.

Caylie has been travelling across the country for years with hopes of being among the elite in her sport, and being able to skate for her province at the Games would make all the years of training worthwhile.

Getting a chance to work with Leigh in an effort to nail her triple jumps was something she appreciated, and she is confident her hard work will pay off.

Caylie found herself putting in extra work with so many great skaters in the running for a spot on the team, and she enjoyed the atmosphere at the camp as everybody tried to give it their all.

“It was kind of intense,” Caylie said. “We were all trying our best so we could show what we got.”

The sun will eventually come out and summer will arrive soon enough.

It’s a time when most young girls are eager to hit the beach or work on their tan as a way to celebrate the long break from the classroom.

These two girls will spend their summer chilling in a different way.

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