Cecilia Welsh

When you look out on the spacious Oaks Park Skating Rink floor it is impossible to miss the vivacious beauty Cecilia Welsh, with her bright red hair and impossibly long stretch.  Cecilia began skating in the Oaks Park Preschool Play & Skate class as a toddler where she both made lifelong friends, and developed a lifelong love of roller skating!

Competing in all disciplines of figure skating, Cecilia has become an accomplished and successful skater.   She has been a national finalist multiple times in both solo dance and freestyle.  Her favorite skating memory was the year that she placed 4th in Juvenile A Singles after making it to the final in 8th.  Currently competing in figures, loops, American solo dance, international solo dance, and free dance, Cecilia has high hopes for this season.  Her goal is to be the 2015 Freshman A Solo Dance National Champion, and to get closer to her ultimate goal of making the world team.  A particularly charming feature of her 2015 season is her choice of freedance music.  She selected to skate her favorite discipline to “Phantom of the Opera” in tribute of her best friend who is an accomplished ballerina and recently appeared in the Portland stage production of the classic musical.

Cecilia is coached by Cindy White, Bob Behrendt, and Sharon Behrendt.  Cindy said of her pupil:

“Cecilia is a delight to coach.  I have been coaching her since she was 7 years old and watching this young lady grow and mature in the sport has been a tremendous pleasure.  She is dedicated to becoming the best skater she can be and she is a great example for the young kids that are coming up behind her.  She is always willing to help the younger kids and they love that she is willing to give them the attention. ”

Bob, who began teaching her a few years ago, remarked that Cecilia is a person who will be successful in whatever she chooses to do, and that her skating has improved leaps and bounds thanks to an increased belief in herself, and that he loves seeing the joy she has come out in her skating.  Sharon says that Cecilia is the most delightful teenager that she’s ever been involved with; never a negative word, never an “I can’t”.  Sharon shares that Cecilia genuinely likes everybody, and as such, every body likes her!

And that is true!  Popular and well liked by her fellow teen aged  skaters, Cecilia’s charm, intelligence, and graciousness extend beyond her own age group  to make her a favorite with the older generation, and, as said by coach Cindy, a terrific role model for younger skaters.  When asked what they think of Cecilia’s skating a handful of little girls in the club had this to say:

Elsie Stephens: “She leans back nicely, and she really flows around the floor.”
Susie MacKay: “Cecilia pushes smoothly, and I love her great knee bend, and rise and fall. And she’s kind of coo-coo, is a big tease, and tells funny stories with cute voices.”
Makayla Simonelic: “She’s awesome.  I like her great posture and how she gets around the floor so easily.”
Annie MacKay: “I dream of having her leg extension and toe point, and love how her shoulders are always back and down and her chin’s up.  She’s beautiful and I want to skate like her!”

As a student Cecilia has been exemplary.
For middle school she attended Winterhaven Math and Science accelerated school, which only accepts highly gifted math and science students.  Math is her favorite subject because, as Cecilia says, in her cheeky manner, “I’m goooooooood at it.”
As a freshman in high school she now attends Jesuit High School in Beaverton, OR,
where she has a 4.1 grade average.  Being a person of exceptional high energy, Cecilia not only is a dedicated skater, but is on her school’s varsity swim team, studies and speaks Chinese, participated in debate, plays golf with her father who is a golf instructor, and is a championship chess player.

Cecilia is a delight to have as part of the Oaks Park Skating Club.  We value her accomplishments, her beautiful skating, her fun personality, and the warmth and kindness she shows to everyone with whom she shares the rink.  Best of lucky, pretty miss Welsh, for a terrific 2015 season!

Meet Robert “Bobby” Hamblin

Robert Hamblin is one of the Oaks’ up-and-coming skaters, and a natural born showman who stands out from the crowd with a personality as big as the Oaks itself.  The youngest of the 3 Hamblin boys, baby brother Bobby is well known through out the rink and NW region for his dynamic personality, flair for the dramatic, sweet and affectionate nature, and for wanting to follow in the footsteps of his two older brothers.
Bobby began skating as a toddler in the Preschool Play & Skate class taught by his mother, coach Amy Hamblin.  Once he reached school age, Bobby began to take dance lessons from “Big Bobby” (Robert Behrendt), and figures/freestyle from George Kolibaba, and enjoys an affectionate relationship with both of his mentors.
George describes Bobby as a true individual who embraces the extreme.  He admires that Bobby does not want to fail, and that he is willing to work hard not to.  George laughingly recalled a time when Bobby ran his routine 17 times in a single practice because he was told he needed to “practice it a bunch of times.”  As George said, “How many skaters do you know with that kind of stubborn follow through?”.
Robert Behrendt describes Bobby as a delightful student.  “Of all the skaters in this rink, I don’t know anyone who has the love of skating like that little guy.”  Robert praises Bobby’s passion for the creative aspect of skating, and admires that, while a bright future as a proficient technical skater is promising, it is the freedom with which Bobby  enjoys his skating that will make this young man exceptional.  It is that quality that prompts Robert to feel that Bobby may very well end up the most talented of the 3 ultra-talented Hamblin brothers.
Just as his competitive career was beginning, Bobby, at the age of 7,  sustained a serious knee injury during a ski trip that limited his ability to train for nearly 6 months, but he still rallied to compete in singles and figures at his first National Championships in Albuquerque in 2013.  Bobby made up for lost time in 2014, when he competed at his second US National Championships in Lincoln, NE, where he earned a bronze medal in Primary Boys Loops and was a finalist in Primary Solo Dance.  With one more season in the Primary divisions Bobby is looking forward to another successful year.
For “Little Bobby”, as the club kids call this humorous little bundle of energy, skating is filled with family.  In addition to older brothers Charlie and David, both National Champion skaters, Bobby’s mother, aunt, cousins, and grandmother all skate competitively.  Even though he’s the baby of the family Bobby keeps up with his relatives and practices 4-5 times a week.  He has high hopes that his hard work will pay off when, as he says,  “I’m going to grow up, go to Worlds, and have the best free dance that anybody ever saw.”   It would not surprise anyone who knows him to see that aspiration come true.
Off the rink Bobby is a “TAG” (Talented and Gifted) identified student in his 3rd grade class.  In May he joined a Cub Scout pack and is looking forward to continuing the Boy Scout program throughout his childhood.  He’s very active in his church and loves his Sunday School program and singing with the children’s choir.

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