Why Isn’t Figure Skating Offered at SHS?


SHS freshman figure skater, Anna Ryan.

Jack Ryan, Staff Writer

Athletics have a significant impact on many students’ high school experiences. Most popularly, students gain recognition for participating in school-sponsored team sports like football, basketball, soccer, hockey, and lacrosse. But what about the sports that don’t get as much recognition?  What about figure skating?  

Recently, my mother, Kimberly Ryan, a member of the Professional Skaters Association and US Figure Skating Association, tried to start a figure skating club for students at Scituate High School. In fact, Ryan is currently coaching several figure skaters who attend SHS; however, her proposal was rejected by the school administration.

According to Ryan, the club would be beneficial to SHS because “figure skating is an individual sport that requires a significant time commitment both on and off the ice.” Ryan explained, “U.S. figure skating has created the high school team opportunity because they recognize the benefits of team sports. The skaters want to experience the camaraderie that comes with being part of a team and representing their school.”  

Despite her strong belief in a potential figure skating club at the high school, Ryan understands why her proposal was declined by SHS principal Dr. Lisa Maguire: “The administration did not feel it was inclusive because skaters would be required to have a membership to U.S. Figure Skating to participate.” Nevertheless, Ryan hopes the club will eventually be approved because “all student-athletes deserve the opportunity to represent their school.”

Ryan went on to explain that some aspects of a figure skating program could raise important questions–especially when it comes to payments, ice-time, coaches, and equipment. Ryan said, “All aspects of the figure skating team would be self-supported. The skaters all have their own coaches, ice time, and equipment.” The only involvement from the school would be granting permission to use the name of Scituate High School for competitions and clothing. 

Student skaters are also in agreement on starting up a team. SHS sophomore figure skater Stella Bulman said, “I want to participate in a school sport, but there’s not enough hours in the week to devote to another sport while still figure skating.”  She also believes it would benefit other skaters because of the hard work and devotion toward the sport.  Bulman added, “It would be nice to be recognized by the school like every other Scituate High School athlete.”

Bulman is not the only figure skater at SHS who shares these beliefs: Freshman student-athlete Savana Garabedian said she has wanted a team since she started attending SHS in the fall. She was not aware of the recent rejection of the club by Dr. Maguire and noted that she feels disappointed because she skates during the week, which takes up a lot of time. Garabedian commented, “I wish [administration] would accept [the program] because I would get to participate in a high school sport without missing out on skating time.” Garabedian has been skating since she was four years old and working relentlessly at her sport like other athletes at SHS. The only difference is she can’t compete while representing her school and town at the high school level.

Skating coach Leslie Ryan shares Garabedian’s disappointment regarding the club’s rejection: “This club was actually motivated by the skaters themselves. Once they heard it was something that their fellow skaters did in other towns, they wanted to represent SHS in the sport they are passionate about,” Ryan added.

A figure skating club should be offered at SHS due to the interest students have, and the people behind the opportunity have the club very well organized and thought out. It would also provide an opportunity for students looking for a winter sport and trying something new.