The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Wednesday June 29th

UNC Figure Skating Club unites members' love for the ice

Members of the UNC Figure Skating Club pose for a portrait at the Wake Competition Center in Cary, N.C. on Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2022. The club organizes practices for skaters of all levels and holds public skates on Fridays.
Buy Photos Members of the UNC Figure Skating Club pose for a portrait at the Wake Competition Center in Cary, N.C. on Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2022. The club organizes practices for skaters of all levels and holds public skates on Fridays.

UNC Figure Skating Club, established in 2012, is bringing students together in their love for the ice again after facing inactivity due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The club, which meets every week for figure skating and other activities, has seen a rapid increase in members this year. Emily Bell, a neuroscience major and vice president of the club, said everyone is excited to put on their skates as it has become active again.

“If you're looking to be active while still having that creative ability, skating is for you,” Bell said.

How to join

Secretary Ivy Liu said to become a member, all you have to do is submit a membership request via their Heel Life page. Currently, membership is completely open and everyone is welcome to join any event they host.

Liu, a first-year nutrition major, said joining the club helped her regain her love for the sport.

“I wanted to refine my love for skating because after I stopped competing, I went through some mental health issues,” Liu said. “Being here really helped me refine the love of skating with people.”

Due to figure skating being an individualistic sport in nature, the club allows members to share a passion for something together for what feels like the first time. 

“What I've realized is finding this community of people who can support me both on and off the ice is so precious to me," said Katherine Xing, a sophomore and president of the club. "I realized that I don't have to carry things on my own; you can rely on these people and the best part is that we share this common love of skating.” 

The club now has over 80 members, with around 30 who are currently active, all ranging in skill levels. Bell said she feels inspired by the new members who are excited about learning something new, allowing her to continue her love for figure skating.

“For me, having grown up with it, I find it so interesting that people are interested, especially at this time in our lives, to pick up something different," Bell said. "I'm inspired by our members who've decided to do something new.”

Happenings in the club

The club meets weekly for a session of public skating and/or off-the-ice conditioning. They practice at either the Orange County SportsPlex or the Wake Competition Center, depending on availability and transportation.

While not currently active, the club hopes to soon start an intercollegiate competition program to allow members to compete in numerous activities, such as ice dancing and solos.

The club hosts multiple social events, scavenger hunts, public skates and off-the-ice training opportunities for its members to grow their skills in skating and to create bonds with each other.

Xing devotes her time to ensuring the club is inclusive and accessible so everyone has the opportunity to extend their boundaries and test their courage both on and off the ice. 

“Anyone can join, it's open," Xing said. "It's open for people to have fun, or to keep in touch with their skating side or to reconnect with it."

To test your balance on the ice and become a UNC Figure Skating Club member, you can visit their Heel Life page or contact them at uncfigure@gmail.com.

university@dailytarheel.com

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