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Editor’s note: In 2014, the Membership Committee implemented the Membership Incentive Program. Tis U.S. Figure Skating program honors Basic Skills pro- grams that go above and beyond in the current mem- bership year. One of the key features of this program is honoring the best Basic Skills director in the country.

by ERIN SCHOPF Tey call her “Miss Jenny,” and her efforts

to cultivate and enhance the grassroots skating program at the Extreme Ice Center in Indian Trail, North Carolina, have earned the dynamic and hardworking Jenny Wesley Gwyn U.S. Figure Skating’s 2015 Outstanding Basic Skills Director of the Year award. Gwyn, who holds four PSA master ratings,

has been a skating director for 19 years, including the past nine at the Extreme Ice Center. She uses all the resources that U.S. Figure Skating has to offer, participates in National Skating Month and hosts several open houses throughout the year to entice new families to try skating. “Being a part of the experience for a young skater and guiding them into their path of our sport is an amazing feeling,” Gwyn said. “Perhaps the best part is seeing my former participants pursue their skating path and find their way back to the Basic Skills classes as instructors in my program.” Te Extreme Ice Center is a two NHL-sized-

sheet facility. It features a half sheet of ice (aptly named “Te Puddle”), as well as a ballet room, fitness center, pro shop, tavern, banquet room and two conference rooms. It will celebrate its 10th year of operation in 2016. It’s home to the Carolinas Figure Skating Club (more than 150 members), the Charlotte Junior Checkers and the Charlotte Rush. Extreme Ice Center offers the standard

Snowplow Sam and Basic Skills programming, as well as a bridge program to the higher levels. Its beginner synchronized team will compete for the first time at the State Games of America this summer in Nebraska. Te Special Olympics cur- riculum is incorporated as a part of its regular curriculum classes. Understanding the need and demographic of the community, Gwyn has also created a variety of adult programs. Te “Coffee Club” is offered during week- day mornings, and “Happy Hour” is a great addition for those adults looking to unwind during summer evenings. She has also taken parent education to an- other level, creating a video for the center’s web-

site to educate skating families before they come to the facility. Led by a Carolinas Figure Skating Club representative, Extreme Ice offers “coffee and donuts time” during classes with the parents in the bleachers. Gwyn’s goal is to have a flyer in the skater’s hand each week as he or she exits the ice. Tis can be in the form of a newsletter, infor- mation on how to tie skates or coupons to the pro shop and information on how to buy skates. “Always open to new ideas and concepts of teaching, coach Gwyn has brought to life advanced programs for our competitive skaters to keep them working in a team atmosphere,” Extreme Ice Center General Manager Maureen Mulhall said. “Leading the charge of improving a healthier lifestyle for all, Jenny attends off-prop- erty promotions and brainstorms with all depart- ments on how to grow all ice sports. “She understands the mechanics of running a successful department and business and how the overall picture affects everyone. Promoting her passion of ice skating is one facet of this multi-tal- ented and wonderful human being that we call ‘Miss Jenny.’ I say with a full heart that every rink needs a ‘Miss Jenny.’” Gwyn believes that through understand- ing and patience, one can cultivate a beginning skater from the unknown to ultimate success. As director, she assumes the role of selling the skat- ing experience. She trains her staff regularly and has an upper management team that supports her goals and ideas. Tere is a mutual respect between Gwyn and her superiors that is unusual in the rink industry. She understands what it takes to be a leader, as well as a supporter and can inspire young skaters all while managing one of the best Basic Skills programs in the county.



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