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groupSeventeen pairs of hockey players and figure skaters are poised and ready to skate in Saugeen Shores second Battle of the Blades competition April 20.

Hub Staff

The first practice for the April 20 Battle of the Blades (BOTB) event is in the books after 17 teams came together to meet and take to the ice for the first time, while eyeing up their competition February 5 at the Plex.

BOTB co-producer Janet Dawson recalled the success of the 2016 event and having to lock the doors to the Plex because of capacity crowds. Dawson said that she didn't expect any less from the Saugeen Shores community and said that attendees can expect the same level of entertainment but with some different skaters this year’s event.

“We have different people signed up, there are a couple that have participated before but most of the people here are new,” said Dawson.

“We’ve got a variety of different numbers, whatever your music style I guarantee there will be something there that you will really enjoy,” she added.

Event organizers have teamed up with the Caitlyn Cobean Community Crusaders (CCCC). “We have five members who are on a committee and we share the task,” said Dawson adding that it makes the event more meaningful. “We’re having a really good time doing it too.”

Member of CCCC, hockey referee and player Dylan Cobean has been tasked with taking part in BOTB and admitted that he had to give it a lot of consideration but ultimately decided to participate as a skater with his sister Caitlyn’s childhood friend Jordaine Leeder, who herself is a seasoned hockey player.

Father-daughter team Aurora, (age 8) and Dan Playfair will be partnering up for their BOTB experience. Aurora who has been skating for five years and said she was really excited to skate with her father “because my dad’s never figure skated before so he's pretty excited to start doing jumps and spins like I do.” Aurora said that her father plays ice hockey and she’s teamed up with him before when they played road hockey.

The hockey player admitted that even after watching his daughter Aurora skate for the past few years the sport still hasn’t yet physically translated for him. “I have no idea how to figure skate. I come out and watched and haven't figured the sport out,’ joked Playfair who did admit that he will do anything for his daughter. “I’ll do whatever she tells me to do,” he said.

Dawson said there are four categories for the April 20 event: Under 12, 13-18, Family and an Adult.

“It’s really exciting because we have a lot of people who've skated when they were younger doing minor hockey, rep league and figure skating who are now adults and still skating so it’s a great opportunity for them to come out and still show what they’ve got.”

kaiSix year old Kai Bailey (right) with his Battle of the Blades partner Rylee Simmonds at their first practice February 5 at the Plex.

andy kristyn aurora danOn the left, figure skater Kristyn Morrison and Andy Bernard are teaming up for their Battle of the Blades performance. On the right, the father and daughter team of Aurora (age 8) and Dan Playfair were ready to hit the ice at their first practice.

len cyndi kara ethanOn the left, figure skater Cindy Cammidge and partner Len Arnold practicing at the Plex February 5. On the right, partners Ethan Primeau and Kara McGuire are another team to reckon with.

kai holding handsKai Bailey reached out for his partner Rylee Simmonds’ hand ahead of their first skate together.

colin and janetBattle of the Blades participant Colin Murano helped Blades Co-producer Janet Dawson show the teams common pairs moves during the first practice session for Battle of the Blades February 5.