Williams Lake coach still has both feet on the ice after 43 years – Williams Lake Tribune


If you google Williams Lake and figure skating, you’ll find Joanne Macnair.

The coach has been teaching young people skating, then figure skating, for 43 years in the lakeside city.

“I love it, I love the kids,” she said, as she wrapped up another ice time with her CANSKATE program for new skaters. “Not everyone can say that about their work.”

Still appreciative after four decades, Macnair said coaching still doesn’t really feel like a job because “skating is in my blood”.

Having skated all her life, she has seen the sport grow and transform, with quadruple jumps at the Olympics in ways few would have imagined a few decades ago.

“It’s just crazy how far we’ve come.”

As the sport has transformed in this way, she said it has also meant that people really appreciate the athleticism involved in skating.

She can only imagine where the sport will continue to go, as she slowly comes to an end in her coaching career, and at this point she can’t see herself retiring yet.

She always finds it rewarding and derives great satisfaction from developing a relationship with the skaters and seeing their skills grow. She added that she now teaches the children of some of her skaters from past years.

Although competition has been suspended for much of the pandemic, the skaters have been able to focus on other aspects of developing their skills, but she is happy that they will resume competition in the coming weeks.

“It gives them something to work towards,” Macnair said.

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