Skate Lillooet recruited a new head coach for this season and it’s homegrown skater Telsa Menhinick. Telsa started skating with the Skate Lillooet Club when she was five years old. She took some time off from the sport in her younger days, but returned when she was 14. Every year she has headed to figure skating competitions and always placed, even placing first in her initial competition, against 18 other skaters, when she was just 7 years old.
The Skate Lillooet Board approached Telsa and asked her to become the head coach, after the previous coach left to go back to school. Telsa’s experience made her the perfect candidate for the job as she is an active athlete. This fall, she has been the captain of the LSS Wildfire Senior Girls’ volleyball team and will play again for the LSS rugby team in the Spring. She also spends upwards of 9 hours at the rink weekly. Telsa is the assistant captain of the Midget Girls’ hockey team and they practice twice a week.
Her coaching sees her on the ice Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:30-5:00 pm. She is responsible for planning each lesson for the skating program, which involves building skills and ability for a wide variety of ages. She also oversees the program assistants (PAs) and they help her to deliver a comprehensive and rewarding skating program to Lillooet’s youngest rising stars.
Telsa says she “wants to be involved in the club as much as I can as they have helped me accomplish so many things.” Her favourite thing about being the head coach is seeing the smile and joy in a child’s face when they accomplish something big on the ice. That, she says, is how “I know I’m doing my job right!” She attributes much of her success to the great supporters and coaches that she has had one the years and gives special thanks to Jen Trusz, Lisa Oike, Jacquie Rasmussen, all of the PAs, and of course, her parents. The young skaters and parents really appreciate Telsa’s hard work and commitment to the program, as Candice Sussums commented that her children “love Telsa” and noted that there may not be a Skate Lillooet program this year without her.
Telsa also has been working towards her future goal of becoming a nurse and is currently in her second year volunteering at the local hospital. She previously worked shadowing nurses and is now working with Jackie Bizdel in the Radiology department. She volunteers five days a week for a 1.5 hours per day. Telsa will be graduating from LSS this spring and will then attend nursing school.