By Scott Taylor
Photos by Dylan Asmundson

The RINK's U16 head coach and one of the chief clinicians at the RINK's EDGE Skating Camps, Jeff Borse, just can't say enough about the amount of fun kids have at what's been called "the perfect summer camps for hockey fanatics."

"EDGE is a skating-specific program that's focused on making you a better skater while providing a really fun, exciting camp experience," said Borse. "It's a week-long camp, featuring on-ice, off-ice and multi-sport aspects. We run the camps at Gateway; they have a great setup with the fields and indoor turf area. This allows us to run multisport sessions like soccer, football and frisbee while having ample room to do sprints, obstacle courses and agility training. It really is a multi-faceted summer camp. The focus on-ice is skating. We aim to make the training for kids as fun as possible. The focus off-ice is to be trained as all-around athletes, no just hockey players.”
This will be the second summer the camps are powered by the RINK. They were formerly run by the Okanagan-based group, Pursuit of Excellence (POE), under the Edge of Excellence banner. With the success of the EDGE Skating Camps curriculum and video takeaways, the RINK will be implementing EDGE Skating Camps in place of their regular power skating programs.

To be precise, EDGE Skating Camps aim to support and build upon the foundation of any player’s success in the game. These are full-day camps run in both Winnipeg and Kelowna. Camps will feature tow on-ice sessions, off-ice training sessions, and SIM Skate, plus various multi-sport experiences and skill sessions every day. The on-ice component starts by teaching players proper skating techniques and progresses to applying these techniques in drills that simulate game speed. As Borse explains, good skating technique is an essential part of the game but is useless unless it can be applied in in-game situations.

“EDGE will bring forth the most focused approach to power skating analysis and teaching in the skill development industry,” Borse said. “Our SIM Skate is an important part of the day’s activities” and it’s something that Borse believes is essential to improving a young player’s skating ability.

“It’s apart of our filming program,” he explained. “It starts with practicing your stride off the ice – your knee bend, your stride extension and support leg – so it’s working on the mechanics that will transfer to the ice. We’re able to deliver a next level video feedback experience usings iPads during our sessions. We connect the iPads to TV monitors, which allows near-instant feedback for the player. From there, we can draw on screen to show each player’s correct angles, whether their chest is up, their head is up, whether they’re using their arms, where they land on their feet – inside or outside edges. It’s a great tool that helps us teach the kids more effectively.

“We’re very excited to continue the tradition of being oe of the elite skating camps the province has to offer. This year is no different as we continue to raise the bar in terms of the quality of the camp, with a technical focus. We are introducing some new components to our camp including NHL game video analysis for on-ice skills, improved instant video review for players, over speed on-ice training, and more streamlined video analysis for each player. Our curriculum has been upgraded to include more challenging skating skills for older players that include puck protection techniques. We are proud to say that all of our lead instructors are Hockey Canada Skills Coach certified.

“Following video taken on the first day, coaches then voice over the video with feedback and illustration. This video is sent to each player following the camp and explains what they need to work on while having a reference they can use from home and during the season. These aspects set EDGE Skating Camps apart not only from (the) RINK’s current programming but from other skating programs.”

Young skaters can register by visiting our website here >> EDGE Skating Camps