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Richmond skating club wraps up spectacular season

Multiple athletes from the Richmond Connaught Skating Club competed at the international and national levels this year.

Richmond’s Connaught Skating Club celebrates a spectacular season after sweeping medals at the international and national levels this year.

Keegan Murphy, director of skating program at Connaught, said the biggest thing for the athletes is being able to compete on ice without COVID-19 restrictions this year.

“There was more opportunity for the skaters to perform and gain some real competition experience,” said Murphy.

“You can see that the kids just love performing for a live audience and that’s how competitions should be.”

The Connaught Skating club had a total of 15 athletes competing at the national or international level this year.

Murphy told the Richmond News that most skating clubs often have one athlete competing at those levels.

“To have even one athlete competing in nationals or internationals is amazing already and like any normal skating club in Canada would be they should be very proud” said Murphy.

“Our club usually have five to 10 athletes competing at the national level and we’ve been doing so for the last decade, and that’s because we are a pretty big club.”

He highlighted that the club’s results are a combination of the club’s 20-member coaching team, hard working athletes and dedicated families.

Connaught’s athletes won several medals this year including Liam Kapeikis and Wesley Chiu who represented their respective countries, U.S. and Canada, while competing together at the 2022 ISU Junior World Championships.

David Li, 15, also won gold medal at the 2022 Egna Spring Trophy competition in Italy this past April.

“It’s insanely rare that any skating club would have one athlete competing at the Junior World’s, let alone two athletes,” said Murphy.

He added that Li, who competed and won at an international competition at a young age is something the club is “super proud” of.

Murphy told the Richmond News that Leah Lee qualifying for the Canadian championships was one of the biggest highlights for their female athletes.

Lee competed in the senior ladies category at the 2022 Canadian Tire National Championships at the age of 17, which is an “enormous accomplishment” for any female athlete, he said.

As if the accolades haven’t piled high enough, Murphy himself was recognized for his work as a skating coach.

He was awarded the 2022 BC Section Competitive Coach of Year, a recognition he was not expecting at all.

“I just feel super honoured and … it’s an award in title with my name on it, but really it represents the whole coaching team, because I did not do any of this by myself.

“It’s been absolute wonderful year and to see our club being purposeful and systematic in our development of every child, it’s fantastic. As long as we can keep doing that, then I guess the growth is limitless.”