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Connaught skaters pair up for Sectionals

Plenty of work for Victor Lum and Jessie Sun in Kelowna this week
Connaught Skating coaches Eileen Murphy and Jacob Cryderman with the Pre-Novice pairs team of Jessie Sun and Victor Lum.

It’s going to be a busy few days in Kelowna for Victor Lum and Jessie Sun.

Not only are the Connaught Skating Club members competing in their respective singles categories at the BC/Yukon Sectional Championships, they will be performing in Pre-Novice Pairs as well. They will be doing so already knowing they will be representing their province at 2020 Skate Canada Challenge later this month in Edmonton.

It reflects their significant progress since formally training together back in July. Lum and and Sun are one of three up-and-coming pair teams currently working under coaches Eileen Murphy and Jacob Cryderman.

“There hasn’t been much pair skating in about the last five years for us. You have to have the coaching, ice time availability and people within the club that are interested in starting from the bottom up,” explained Murphy. “It takes a lot of commitment but we are are always looking for potential pairs.”

The club held a very casual pairs seminar last spring and brought Lum and Sun together in the summer. By the end of August they began working on their short and free programs and made their debut at the recent Autumn Leaves competition in Chilliwack. Their scores were good enough to advance directly to Skate Challenge.

Lum, 17, will be also be competing in junior men’s singles at Sectionals, while Sun, 11, is entered in the U12 Juvenile Division.

“It does take a lot of time just for them to get acquainted with each other. Victor and Jessie have done a really good job of meshing together,” said Cryderman. “They were already comfortable in our regular training environment so all you really needed was for them to be excited about learning something new and they were.”

Not only has Lum had to get comfortable performing lifts, there is being in step with his partner too.

“There are a lot of elements that requires us working side by side. It’s like we are a team out there,” said Lum. “I thought our first competition was interesting and went well.”

Murphy added not every skater can make the transition from singles to pairs.

“Most of our pair skaters will always do singles as well and continue with that then develop into it pairs. You need the ones who are willing to work together and have the personality too. It’s a big difference compared to singles skating.”