Brampton’s Priceless Moment

For a hundred or so young figure skaters from the Skate Canada Brampton-Chinguacousy club in Brampton, Ontario, it will be a day they will remember for a long time.
Former Olympic medalist, world champion and eight-time Canadian national champion figure skater Brian Orser was on the Cassie Campbell Community Centre skating facility ice Sunday to help instruct in an afternoon program for the club.
Orser brought along current Canadian national champion Nam Nguyen for good measure.
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For club technical director Doug Haw, the visit by Orser and Nguyen was something more than special for the club’s skaters.
“When you have a celebrity personality like Nam and a superb skater and coach like Brian, it’s like a MasterCard moment – it’s priceless,” Haw said. “These kids will leave the rink today thinking ‘I can skate better.’ They’re all going to think they’re better skaters for having been involved in this program today.”
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Haw, a former national competitor and national level judge himself, is hoping to produce national competitors locally at the club.
“My vision here for Brampton and our club is to produce a national and world Olympic competitor. So I’m on a mission to do that,” he said.
And according to Haw, who is the highest certified coach in North America after attaining his Master Rating in Figures, Free Skating and Moves in the Field with the Professional Skaters Association in the USA and his NCCP Level 5 coaching certification in Canada, that mission is best done right in Brampton.
“Here we have, to me, one of the best facilities in the world. I’ve traveled the world and this is a state of the art facility, with the natural light, the fitness centre, the swimming pool, all the studio space for off-ice requirements, and the upgraded coaching certification.”
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“I’m trying to create a community here; a team of coaches that are educated, enthusiastic and full of energy and who are goal-focused like I am to take this club to the next level,” Haw said. “The club produced four national competitors, which they’ve never done before, so the ball is rolling.”
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“My goal today is to create an interest so the kids, at the end of the day, have a stronger passion for skating and succeeding and achieving their goals. I figure with my coaching prowess and my vision and goals, I can do something here. This can be a real training centre. I can make this place work.”
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For Orser, coming to Brampton to skate with some young talent on their way up in the figure skating world was a request he could not turn down.
“Doug Haw has been a great friend of mine for a very long time,” said Orser. “So he invited me to come out and work with the kids for the afternoon. I was happy to help him out. That’s what friends do I guess.
We brought Nam along so the kids could see the latest Canadian champion and hopefully be somewhat inspired.”
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The goals for Orser and Nguyen are well defined for the upcoming season, says Orser.
“We’re already thinking about next season and what we’re going to do. We’re going to start setting some goals. We do a couple of competitions in the summer but then we go into the fall and get ready for the international stuff. We have three or four months to really do a lot of work and show a big difference in Nam’s skating – speed, power, maybe some elements, new programs.”
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“Nam is top five in the world and I think he wants to improve on that,” said Orser “He went from 12th last year to fifth this year and he’s kind of knocking on the door of the podium. And that will be nice because my other two skaters are on the podium as well, they’re first and second. It will be a dream for me to have all three of them on the podium, especially at the Olympics. That would be awesome. That would be really cool.”

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