Local skating coach and founder of the Northern Lights School of Skating (NLSS), Ashley Cumming, was one of the 10 recipients of the 2019 Women in Sport Encouragement (WISE) fund.
The Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity (CAAWS) is dedicated to creating an equitable and inclusive sport and physical activity system that empowers girls and women–within sport and through sport.
“As part of our ongoing efforts, the WISE fund was created to enable initiatives that will increase opportunities for women to participate and become leaders within sport,” explained Michayla Fraser, CAAWS Intern-Communications.
The CAAWS awarded $1,000 to 10 coaches in Canada in recognition of their dedication and leadership in coaching.
“CCAWS is so pleased to acknowledge your hard work and we are thrilled to help you further your mission and get you one step closer to reaching your goals,” noted Fraser.
“The WISE fund enables me to further my professional coaching development by helping cover some of the expenses involved with pursing advanced NCCP (National Coaching Certification Pathway) provincial coaching certification which is another step closer to my goal of acquiring National Coaching Certification in the near future,” said Cumming.
“Skate Canada is proud to promote opportunities for lifelong learning and the participation of girls and women in our sport,” remarked Leanna Caron, president of Skate Canada.
“We are thrilled to congratulate Ashley Cumming on being a recipient of the WISE grant from CAAWS. We know that Ashley will use this grant to continue to inspire members of her community to embrace the joy of skating,” she added.
With the support of the WISE fund, Cumming has been able to further engage in NCCP credited Multi-Sport Training modules with the Coaching Association of Canada (CAC) as part of her provincial coaching certification requirements.
“My coaching philosophy includes empowering youth to reach their personal goals in their preferred skating discipline by optimizing their training and performance opportunities, which requires commitment to continuous coaching development,” she noted.
Many athletes are required to relocate, away from their families, to large urban centres to access high performance coaches for optimal training.
Cumming shared that her goal is to enhance her training and knowledge so athletes in small rural communities like Fort Frances and Emo have an equal opportunity to optimal training and high performance coaches.
“I was honoured to be recognized by CAAWS and supported by Skate Canada in my endeavours to further my coaching expertise,” she mentioned.
“I am really looking forward to continuing to work with local skaters within the various NLSS programs and further enabling the skaters to enhance their athletic ability, acquire opportunities, and most of all achieve their personal skating goals for the upcoming season,” added Cumming.
Cumming has been involved in NCCP and non-NCCP coaching training and development since her debut as a coach.
Back in 2017, she was one of 20 coaches in Canada to receive a Skate Canada Scholarship to participate in STARSkate University and is also a NCCP Registered Professional Coach which is an additional CAC coaching designation that recognizes a coach’s credibility, standard of excellence, extensive coaching experience, and pathway to becoming a Chartered Professional Coach.
With over 100 registrants, last season Cumming inaugurated a new local skating school–Northern Lights School of Skating–which offered various skating programs geared for recreational skaters, hockey players and figure skaters.
Cumming was among the first group of coaches in Canada to partake in the revised CanPowerSkate program course last summer in North York, Ont. and was one of the first coaches and skating programs in Canada to offer the newly-revised NCCP certified CanPowerSkate program in Fort Frances and Emo.
“Last season was my first season offering the CanPowerSkate program which focuses on skating skills essential in hockey,” Cumming shared, adding that “the program is challenging and encourages hockey players to focus on their skating technique which overall improves their hockey game and performance.”
Cumming is looking forward to expanding the hockey programs for this upcoming season.
Cumming also developed a modified learn-to-skate program (PreSTARSkate) with the idea of offering additional basic skating instruction and introduction to figure skating and with great success had six skaters complete all six stages of the CanSkate program who are now excited to embrace the challenges and rewards of the figure skating (STARSkate) program.
“Last season, NLSS offered a CanSkate Enhancement program, which I called PreSTARSkate as it was a little something more than CanSkate with an introduction to the STARSkate figure skating program for those who desire this skating sport,” elabourated Cumming.
“Hockey is a very popular winter sport in Northern Ontario, thus it is really exciting and a privilege to coach a group of young athletes who are passionate about figure skating, too.
“I really enjoy teaching the various disciplines involving skating and am eager to help each skater accomplish personal achievements and excel in their skating whether it be for recreation purposes, figure skating or hockey,” she added.
NLSS will be continuing to offer various skating programs for the upcoming 2019-2020 season.
Follow the Northern Lights School of Skating Facebook page for upcoming programs and registration information.