It was hard to tell who was having more fun, the students or the teachers.
The Port Huron Recreational Department’s Learn to Skate program returned this week for a fourth year with a new set of teachers.
This year, Port Huron Prowlers coach Trevor Karasiewicz and Prowlers assistant coach/player Joe Pace Jr. were leading the activities as they taught children ages three-to-six-years-old how to skate at McMorran Arena.
It was easy to see that everyone involved had a lot of fun along the way. And at times,the coaches seemed to be enjoying themselves as much or even more than their protegees.
“I’ve done this stuff forever,” Pace Jr. said. “This was my job for a long time doing a learn to skate program. You just make them forget they are learning for the first time and have fun with it. If they are having fun they can fall 100 times and won’t care.”
The five-week program runs every Wednesday from 1-1:45 p.m and costs $30. That price includes the use of skating equipment.
Christina Stein of Port Huron looked on as her six-year-old daughter Tori and five-year-old son Eli took part in the program. Stein couldn’t help but take videos and smile as she watched them enjoy themselves.
“This is our third year doing it,” Steing recalled. “It started off when my son was three and we signed him up for it. He was crying to go off and my daughter was the same size and was crying to go on the ice. They were the same size so we strapped his gear on her and she loved it. She kept playing and he saw her having fun and he started playing again.
“They love it. It’s really nice to see a difference. When she first started she couldn’t stand. It looked like cats trying to swim. And now they are skating and having a good time.”
Port Huron Rec coordinator Whitney Currah joined the participants on the ice Wednesday during the session. She also seemed to be having as much fun as the children as she helped them skate.
“They just pick up on it,” Currah said. “We had a boy a couple of years ago come out and by the time he was done, he was so good. It’s fun to watch them learn.”
Before they left the ice Wednesday, everyone seemed to have had a blast. That included Karasiewicz, who will soon begin his first season as the Prowlers head coach.
“It’s fun to skate with someone you are going to watch play,” Karasiewicz said. “They look up to us and it makes you look back and it reminds you of yourself.
“When you talk to them their eyes are wide open looking at you. This is the fun part of hockey.”
Contact Joseph Hayes at (810) 989-6268 or at [email protected] Follow him on twitter @jhayes1136.