Jayna Mason has big goals for her first spring skating competition.
"I'm going to try to go for silver and gold," said the nine-year-old member of the Northern BC Centre of Skating (formerly the Spruce City Skating Club) about going to the Super Series Victoria Day event, May 17-19, in Surrey.
Mason is one of four skaters in the Stars 4 under-10 program that will represent Prince George at the competition. The other skaters are Asia Gill, Valyce Mamic and Ally Norum. The Stars 4 under-10 program is for figure skaters on the cusp of moving into the more competitive stream and are preparing for the national level.
"I think it's going to be very competitive because there's going to be a lot of girls so it's going to be very hard to place," said Mason.
In addition to the four under-10 girls the Prince George club is sending five other skaters to Surrey - Star 3 skaters Erin Brown and Jessie Drover, pre-juvenile ladies under-14 Shelby Scott, pre-novice men under-16 Justin Hampole and novice ladies under-17 long program Samara Thaw. Rory Allen, director of skating for the Northern BC Centre, said it's a huge accomplishment to send nine athletes to the competition after not sending any two years ago.
"It's not typically a competition that northern athletes participate in," said Allen. "We've been working really hard to extend our season so we can become more competitive with other places in B.C."
Allen coached Hampole at the Super Series last year where the 11-year-old won gold his first time out, which helped spark interest in the competition among his peers.
"He's a very social kid," said Allen. "He comes home and talks positively about his experiences without bragging. He's very levelheaded and he's set a very positive example for the skaters."
Allen added that Hampole was nominated for, and won, the leadership award at the club's awards banquet Saturday.
"He shows up early," said Allen. "He warms up properly. He trains his solos everyday. He does all of the right things and that just raises the bar and sets a higher standard for all the new Star 4 under 10's that are coming up. It just starts creating a whole new generation of dedicated and determined athletes that this area has not seen in a long time."
Hampole placed fifth in the province last November and served as an alternate for Team B.C. at the Canadian junior skating championship. Allen said he's set a goal of a top three finish for Hampole, who normally competes against boys between 13-15 years old.