The Brant Skating Club made a splash recently with the announcement that Kaetlyn Osmond would join the organization as a coach.

The addition of the former Canadian women’s singles world champion figure skater is one of several recent moves by club as it seeks to grow.

A few years ago, the prospects for growth were dim.

“Skating is a very individual sport,” said president Brandi Schott, who has been a club volunteer for about 25 years.

“I found that we were losing a lot of skaters when they left the CanSkate program and went into the more senior programs because they would only get a 15-minute private lesson from a coach if their parents could afford to pay for it.

“About three years ago, I started looking into more group coaching.”

… Schott said the club has gone from five coaches two years ago to eight last year and now 10 for this season. She said that the club had 120 skaters three years ago and is hoping to have nearly 300 this season.

“Our retention has been better,” she said. “We’re not losing those kids when they make the jump from CanSkate to the senior programs.

“The parents like it because it’s an all-in-one fee now. They pay their registration fee and the kids are taken care of all the time. They’re still welcome to get more private lessons if they think they need it.”

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