Xtreme Ice Arena Mirrabooka owner: more Perth kids learning to ice skate following Winter Olympics

Sophia O'Kane (14), Amber Trevor-Hunt (coach), Judi Skillicorn (coach) and Kaylee Walton (11). Xtreme Ice Arena has seen an increase in interest and participation for winter sports like ice skating and figure skating in light of the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympic Winter Games. Picture: Andrew Ritchie d479994
Sophia O'Kane (14), Amber Trevor-Hunt (coach), Judi Skillicorn (coach) and Kaylee Walton (11).
Sophia O'Kane (14), Amber Trevor-Hunt (coach), Judi Skillicorn (coach) and Kaylee Walton (11). Xtreme Ice Arena has seen an increase in interest and participation for winter sports like ice skating and figure skating in light of the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympic Winter Games. Picture: Andrew Ritchie d479994 Sophia O'Kane (14), Amber Trevor-Hunt (coach), Judi Skillicorn (coach) and Kaylee Walton (11).

XTREME Ice Arena Mirrabooka has seen a 10 per cent increase in aspiring skaters, following the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics and Paralympics.

The Winter Olympics was held from February 9 to 25, while the Paralympics finishes on March 18.

In term one, the arena’s Aussie Skate program, the second biggest in Australia, catered for more than 200 skaters.

The number was expected to increase to 250 skaters in term two.

Co-owner Marie Lowick said more coaches and lessons would be in place in term two, after the arena turned down skaters in term one.

“I think the Olympics definitely has a huge part to play and not only that, (as have) movies like The Mighty Ducks and Frozen, anything to do with ice skating… movie-wise,” she said.

“Every four years, there is an elevated increase because of the Olympics and when things come in between, that elevates interest as well.

“We have got another 60 new enrolees for term one and we have probably fielded something in the vicinity of 50-odd phone calls from people wanting to join Aussie Skate this term.”

Ms Lowick said the arena wanted to continue to increase the number of people taking part in ice sport around the country.

Figure and synchronised skater Sophia O’Kane, of Hillarys, who came second and first in an individual and pair event at the recent Les Latham competition, said she wanted to become an Olympian like Russian gold medallist Alina Zagitova.

Sophia O’Kane (14). Picture: Andrew Ritchie

“I have been skating for about a year… I had all my parties here when I was little,” she said.

“I also like being here with people (and) being able to feel free on the ice.”

Fellow figure skater Kaylee Walton, of Heathridge, who came first in an individual event at the same competition, said she had been skating for about five years.

Kaylee Walton (11). Picture: Andrew Ritchie

“I saw my mum skate when she was renovating the cupboards so I wanted to skate after that,” she said.

“I like the feeling you get when you glide on the ice.

“I also want to be on Disney on Ice.”

Coach Judi Skillicorn said all the kids watched the Winter Olympics and she received many phone calls from interested parents.