Central Illinois celebrates National Skating Month - WEEK

PEORIA (25 NEWS) - It is National Skating Month and the U.S. Figure Skating Championships are underway. 25 News spoke to local skaters about what the sport means to central Illinois.

Jenni Flores is a coach over at Peoria’s Owens Center, and she says it is great to introduce figure skating to kids at an early age.

Flores said it teaches them how to skate, balance, exercise and compete, as well as work alongside others.

Plus, she said most importantly, it teaches them to know they can achieve great things.

“A lot of our skaters - when they go off to college - either teach ‘learn to skate’ classes there, or they become judges for our sport. Some of them become coaches,” Flores said. “Even some of them stay here and teach, which is always exciting to be able to teach in your home rink.”

Some young skaters in the area talked about their connection with the sport.

“I like it because it’s cool that you can be on ice without slipping and falling,” nine-year-old Mari Flores said.

“I like skating because I get to do a lot of jumps and spins,” nine-year-old Hanna Turner said.

“I like that you can do anything on the ice - and my mom is my coach! She coaches me and I really enjoy that,” nine-year-old Ellie Flores said.

Those who are interested in learning to skate are encouraged to visit the Owens Center on West Lake Avenue in Peoria.

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