Their "flair for the theatrical" programs make those teams a must watch


Gold Ice Junior - Canadian National Championships 2019. (Credits: Sean McKinnon)

A few days ago, we introduced you to the Gold Ice teams. This organization is based in Ontario, Canada, and the teams are coached by three energetic young ladies. Today, they tell us more about their teams and their wishes for the future.

First of all, how are you preparing for the upcoming season?

Andrea Nesbitt: Right now we are in the process of finalizing our teams for the 2021-2022 season. As Ontario is about to enter another four week shut down, all rinks are will be closed the public. That being said, we are relying heavily on virtual off-ice classes to jumpstart our training. Our teams participate in off-ice fitness and flexibility/movement classes weekly via zoom.

We are also starting this season with a bit of a new approach in that we are taking everything month-to-month. In setting shorter-term goals for our skaters, we feel that we will be able to maintain a high sense of motivation and morale that will be needed to accomplish our big season goals. While the current situation is still challenging in Ontario, we remain optimistic that our Novice, Intermediate and Junior teams will be able to compete at the National Championships that are to be held in Calgary next February.

Gold Ice Juvenile competing at Winterfest in January 2020. (Credits: Danielle Earl Photography)

In a more general way, what do you think makes Gold Ice teams unique?

Ashely Greenhalgh: Gold Ice is a unique organization for several reasons. Firstly, all levels are coached by the same three coaches: Jessica, Andrea, and myself. As former Gold Ice skaters ourselves, we are incredibly competitive and are driven to make the podium at every competition in every level.

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But what also makes our organization unique, is that we prioritize creating a sense of family and camaraderie between all Gold Ice teams. We believe in making each day a positive and memorable experience for our skaters, and work together with our supporters to create a sense of belonging for all members and families. We pride ourselves on many in-house showcases and galas, outside of the rink bonding activities, a strong social media presence, and the always highly anticipated national send off parties and year-end banquets. 

Our "flair for the theatrical" programs make Gold Ice a must watch in all categories, as we believe in the power of creating character based programs that our skaters love to emote and perform. Gold Ice is a work hard but play harder organization that believes in giving our skaters a place to find forever friendships coupled with personal achievements.

Gold Ice Beginner 1 competing at Synchrofest in January 2020. (Credits: Danielle Earl Photography)

A new Intermediate team
How have Gold Ice teams developed in recent years?

Ashely Greenhalgh: Gold Ice has just celebrated over 20 years as an organization. We have always believed in developing our skaters from the grassroots upwards to later compete on our elite competitive teams. In more recent years, our teams have focused on developing skills and style throughout the entire season, with an emphasis on turn education and speed.

The coaches have also created synchro-specific summer camp programs for new skaters and those transitioning into higher levels which is outside of their mandatory team training. These programs help to build the skaters individual skill set to better meet the demands of their new team. We also believe in strong off-ice programming including flexibility and fitness training year round.

Having fun at the 2019 Gold Ice Gala. (Credits: Sean McKinnon)

In the past five seasons we have seen our Novice team move from the top ten, to the podium, to a national title. Simultaneously, the Junior team has developed into an internationally successful competitor, scoring personal bests abroad and representing Canada for several seasons in a row.

And this season we are excited about the addition of an Intermediate team to the Gold Ice family which will provide an additional competitive and developmental pathway for our skaters.

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What makes you most proud of, or what is your greatest success?

Ashely Greenhalgh: As coaches, one of our greatest successes so far was bringing back the Gold Ice Junior team after a 6 year hiatus, who have now successfully represented Canada internationally for two seasons. Additionally, we take immense pride in winning the Novice national title in 2020. This was a goal we had set together with this very special group of skaters at the beginning of the season and it was so rewarding to watch the team stay committed to one-another all season long and see this dream become a reality.

Lastly, as coaches we are so lucky to witness the way our skaters welcome new team members, embrace all cultures, and celebrate diversity amongst each other. They teach us every day the beauty of friendship without judgment, and how powerful they can be when supporting each other.

Find out the first part of the Gold Ice story
By clicking here
A few more about the coaches...
Jessica Brown: She is a NCCP National Certified coach. She coaches all disciplines and levels of figure skating and has been coaching with Gold Ice since 2006. She was a competitive synchronized skater from the Novice to Senior level for 12 years including a National Team Member for 4 years winning several world and international medals with Gold Ice. 

Ashley Greenhalgh: This will be her tenth year coaching with Gold Ice. She is currently working with skaters and teams in the Juvenile, Pre-Novice, Novice, Intermediate, and Junior categories and she prides herself on teaching strong basics in stroking and turns from the grassroots level through to our veteran Junior skaters. Her skating background includes national and international titles at the Junior level with Gold Ice, and with a win at the World Synchronized Skating Championships in 2009 as a member of Nexxice!

Andrea Nesbitt: She has been coaching with Gold Ice for 13 seasons now. She works with all the teams from the Beginner through to the Junior level, as well as our Adult 3 team. She grew up in London, Ontario, which is about a 2 hour drive from the Toronto area, and she skated for both the Ilderton and London Skating Clubs during her competitive years winning several national medals.