Oaks Park is pleased to welcome Aimee Sides as one of our newest adult club members! Aimee is an “old timer” come back to skating as an adult. She began her skating career at 9 years old, when her Grandma bought her skates and skating lessons for Christmas. From that point on she spent much of her time at the roller rink and competed as a youth for 10 years. Coached by Jerry and Marlene Bruland in Bellingham, WA, she proudly represented the Northwest at the National Championships 3 times. While Aimee participated in dance and figures through the proficiency test program, passing her 10th dance test and 7th figure test, it was freestyle that was her true love. Her passion was for spinning fast and jumping high, much to the chagrin of her mother who worried over her bruised knees and thighs. As many skaters do, Amy stopped skating in her late teens to pursue other interests, including earning a Master’s of Science degree with an emphasis in Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, and working as a consultant for the EPA and for private industries managing their hazardous waste liabilities.
Aimee returned to skating as an adult in 2011 to compete with the Northern Dynamics Precision Team. On a trip to a small eastern Washington town, while visiting the local farmers market, Aimee chanced upon an old friend and mentor from the Bellingham club, Sue Logghe, who invited her to come and skate with the Northern Dynamics Precision Team, which, at the time, were preparing to represent the United States at the World Championships in Brazillia, Brazil. As Aimee says “I had not skated in 25 years. I wasn’t even sure my skates would still fit… or that I could find them after two cross country moves! But with a quivery voice and a big swallow I heard myself say yes”. Skating with her friends at the World Championships, which happened to be on her birthday, is what Aimee calls “a bucket list experience”.
After the Northern Dynamics Precision Team disbanded, Aimee found herself missing skating, saying that it left a big hole in her heart. She would dream about skating, and knew it was time to fill the void. She started to attend Oaks Park’s Slim & Trim class taught by Susan Richardson on Thursday mornings, and found the being on her wheels again brought many great new friends and a big smile to her face each week. Soon the competitive bug bit and Aimee and she began working towards performing in solo dance, team dance (with partner Scott Foster), precision team, now with Oaks Park’s adult precision team, and figure disciplines at local competitions. She is coached by Susan Richardson and Joan Dreyer. With a strong showing at the recent 2014 NW Regional Championships, Aimee is looking forward to a return to the National Championships this year in Lincoln, NE.
Outside of skating Aimee is a home school mom for her two wonderful children. She also enjoys sewing, knitting, running, gardening, and going to the beach. Her joyful demeanor, driven training schedule, and all around fun-girl friendship have enhanced the skate club greatly since her return to skating, and we are very happy to have her as one of our own!
Six year old Xander Hess is a genuine skating prodigy! Joining Oaks Park Skating Club in 2009, at just 1 year old, Xander got his start exceptionally early. His mom and dad, Bill and Abbi Hess, both long time skaters and coaches at the Oaks, put Xander on skates when he was just 7 months old. It wasn’t long before he was off and rolling! Older sister Jordan is an accomplished skater, and both sets of Xander’s grandparents are coaches; William and Cheryl Hess in Roseburg, OR, and Milt and Barb Shultz in Richland, WA. Skating is infused into little Xander’s genes from all sides, and it shows in the natural rhythm, comfort rolling, and ease on his skates that Xander has possessed from such a singularly tender age.
After years as a tiny-tot show stopper, Xander skated his first “big kid” events at the Pacific Northwest Regional Championships in 2013, making an especially memorable debut as the youngest skater in the Primary Solo Dance Division in many years. He’s competing again at the 2014 PNW Championships, and is especially excited to be part of the Oaks’ Junior Precision Team, which he looks forward to skating as a member of at the 2014 National Championships in Lincoln, NE. Xander is also competing in Primary Boys Figures, Singles, and Primary Solo Dance, plus this season he’s teamed up with 4 year old Haddie Stevens to skate the Juv/Elem B pairs event.
Xander’s enthusiasm can be felt by all those who are lucky enough to know him and watch him skate. He’s helpful and cheerful, and can often be found “assisting” the other children in the rink with their equipment changes during practice and at meets. He’s affectionate, kind, and cooperative, always with a mischievous twinkle in his brown eyes. He loves blue, reading, and cookies. He is a classic car enthusiast, and enjoys going to car shows with his family and friends. Oaks Park Skating Club is proud of our Xander, and look forward to years of enjoying his friendship and skating!
Welcome Bob and Flo Welcome Bob and Flo Fitzgerald, our newest club members. The couple has been one of the country’s most successful adult American dance teams for many years, having skated for the Southwest Region, out of California. The duo has now retired to southwest Washington, and joined the Oaks family. We are glad [...]
Skating was part of Annie’s heart and soul even as a baby. Coming from a skating family, she was exposed to the sport from birth… even before birth! Her mother likes to tell the story of how, while still in the womb, Annie would kick in time with the beat of organ music and the [...]
One of the Oaks’ newest skaters, Ryan Salek was introduced to skating in October 2012 when he, and fiancé Vicky, came to a Friday afternoon Open Skate Session in pursuit of some fun and exercise. The two had no knowledge or experience with artistic roller skating, but had a great time rolling around the rink [...]
Sarah Wellock put on her first pair of roller skates when she was just two years old. Her grandmother, who was caring for Sarah and her sister Evelyn while their parents were at work, started taking the girls to Oaks Park’s Preschool Play & Skate as a way to let them burn off some of [...]
David Hamblin, 2nd of the 3 Hamblin brothers, began his skating career from the sidelines. In a playpen, watching his mother Amy coach and skate, little David gained interest in skating at a young age. He began taking lessons and classes at just 3 years old, forming what was, at the time, the youngest competitive [...]