Stratford Skating Club will welcome competitors for their Stratford December Classic later this month.
"The kids are excited, they are ready," Kevin Winter, head coach/chair of the competition committee, told StratfordToday.
The skating club's annual event, which carried on through the pandemic, runs Dec. 16-18 at the Stratford Rotary Complex.
The Classic will feature 835 skaters, a record number of competitors.
Winter said Stratford will enter a record 11 skaters.
"We have six kids brand new to competition...so they are a bit nervous."
Additional skaters are due in part to different events added this year. Returning are the staple men’s and women’s singles events at the Star 5 gold levels. These skaters are competing not only for this event, but skater scores are archived and compared with others in Ontario. Top scores by the end of February of next year are invited to Skate Ontario Provincial Championships in March.
New to the competition are Star 1 to Star 4 events for skaters starting their competition journey. Non-qualifying events are new and are designed for skaters that will not be counting scores towards qualifying for provincial finals.
Special Olympics events also return to the competition this season.
Winter said a trimmed down event was held during the pandemic. The Classic has been in the planning stages since the summer, and a small but mighty group of volunteers are helping out.
"Many of my skating families have signed up for multiple shifts," Winter said.
The event is open to the public. Cost is $5 per person, each day, for ages five and up.
"We would love to have stands full watching these events and cheering on everyone," Winter said.
Events starts at 8 a.m. on Dec. 16 and run until 6 p.m. on Dec. 18.
The full schedule is online at http://stratfordskating.ca.