The University of Maine Figure skating club was founded by Chelsea Ferk and Amanda Merchant in the spring semester of 2011, with the intention to welcome newcomers who have no experience to get out on the ice and find a wholesome group to bond with. The club loves to try new things on the ice and help others do the same whether that’s learning new spins, how to skate backwards or how to skate at all.
They recently created a competition team where the more experienced and confident members travel to New York City and Boston three times during the year to compete against people who take part in the same hobby.
Nick Sarno, the president of the UMaine figure skating club welcomes any newcomers to enjoy skating on our beautiful rink. They have been figure skating since freshman year and have been going to competitions in NYC and in Boston to show off their incredible skills.
“People should expect to be in an environment where there is a lot of support for learning how to figure skate. There’s really no expectations for joining the club,” said Sarno.
Hope Carroll, vice president and fourth year communications student has been skating since she was three years old with the guidance of her mother who at the time was her coach. She is also on the competition team.
“[UMaine Figure Skating club is] a place where even if you’ve never stepped foot on the ice you’ll be able to flourish here,” said Carroll.
Cane Drewin, fourth year New Media student and Alpha Delta member, goes to practice for the banana show which is performed before the men’s hockey games.
“We reached out for more practice on the ice and asked to work together and ever since then I have been coming to skate for more practice along with the friendly environment,” said Drewin.
Once a year the figure skating club has a winter showcase, normally at the beginning of December in the Alfond Sports Arena. The winter showcase shows off the members’ skills while giving newcomers a chance to experience performing to an audience. They have a lot of skilled and entertaining performances planned, to not only entertain the crowd but also to show off everyone’s unique personalities. Members can either perform as a group, a duet or even single performances based on their comfortability and preferences.
Alyssa Marini, a graduate student who is studying entomology joined the club as a beginner figure skater with experience in speed skating throughout high school.
Marini said, “[it was the perfect] activity to do throughout the week that would be fun to do to meet new people.”
Bean Bein who is in their fifth year as a student in plant biology, started skating on the ice in 2022 and is already flourishing on the competitive team. They started off ice skating as a child but grew out of it once they started to get older, but now they are back and better than ever enjoying time on the ice with their friends.
“This club has become my mental safe haven and just being here makes me so happy,” Bein said.
Dates of meetings vary, but you can find UMaine Skating Club at the Alfond Sports Arena if it is something of interest to learn a new skill or forget about stress for a while. Check out their website for more information. https://umaine.edu/figureskatingclub/