The club responded in an email to assertions that a young girl was recently denied program access.
Kim Halfyard is upset her eight-year-old daughter, Brooklyn, can no longer avail of the coaching services of Mandi Coish and Patti Fitzpatrick as a member of the Deer Lake Figure Skating Club.
Halfyard expressed her concerns about the treatment of her daughter in a story Tuesday.
The club’s email paints the situation as a personal matter between the coaches and a parent.
The club declined to intervene because it was never asked to.
The Skate Canada code of ethics — specifically 6.8 of the section called Club Obligation to the Coaches — states the club must refrain from interfering with a coach-skater or coach-parent relationship unless agreed upon by both parties.
In the letter sent to Halfyard, the club points out the coaches are within their rights to refuse extra lessons because they are freelance coaches. It further states the child was never denied access to a club program — instead, these were private lessons, which are outside of the club’s regular program.
Halfyard says she discussed concerns with Fitzpatrick about moving away from one of the coaches prior to receiving notice Brooklyn would no longer have access to coaching services.
She believes the coaches weren’t within their rights due to the same code of ethics. The code, under a section entitled “club obligations to the skater and parent,” indicates the club must ensure sufficient qualified coaches are available to teach all programs within the club, including private and group instruction.
The Western Star contacted Skate Canada for interpretation of the code, but no one was made available for an interview.
The Star contacted Skate Canada NL president Bev Power for comment, but she wouldn’t do an interview.
However, Power did offer an emailed statement on the issue. In it, she said Skate Canada’s Newfoundland and Labrador section is aware of the situation at the Deer Lake Figure Skating Club and will take the proper steps to review the claims.
Deer Lake Figure Skating Club’s statement
This is a personal matter between coaches and a parent and according to Skate Canada’s code of ethics the board does not intervene unless requested by both parties. (Club Code of Ethics - 6.8: To refrain from interfering with a coach-skater or coach-parent relationship unless agreed upon by both parties.) We were never asked to intervene.
Due to the fact our coaches at this level are freelance coaches, they are within their rights to refuse extra lessons. The child was never denied access to a club program — this was private lessons which is above and beyond a club’s program. Ms. Halfyard actually personally requested that one of our coaches no longer coach her daughter whatsoever.
The parent was advised by the board that the coaches were unable to coach the child, but she was still eligible to skate without a coach, but her parents requested a refund instead.