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.
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 [...]
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 [...]