Stephanie Weber, director of the Snow Plow program, helps Liam Black, 3, from Wayne. Many kids participated in the return of the Learn to Skate program Sept. 13 at the Camden National Bank Ice Vault. Contributed photo

HALLOWELL — The Skating Association of Maine has announced the return of skating programs for the 2021 season. Programs started Tuesday with the first class of Learn To Skate USA at the Camden National Bank Ice Vault on the Whitten Road.

Through the Learn To Skate USA program, SAM plans to offer the following classes:

• Snowplow Sam (for skaters 3 to 6 years old) will run for 30 minutes starting at 5:30 p.m.

• Basic Skills (for skaters older than 6 years) will run for 45 minutes starting at 6:15 p.m.

• Adult Skills will run for 45 minutes starting at 6:15 p.m.

• Hockey Edge Skills (for more advanced skaters wishing to pursue the sport of hockey) will run for 45 minutes starting at 5:30 p.m.

• Intro to Figure Skating (for more advanced skaters wishing to pursue figure skating) will run for 45 minutes starting at 5:30 p.m.

All classes are taught in a group learning environment with skaters advancing through the program at their own pace.

This year program offerings include a new free Learn to Play program, Hybrid Hockey program and expanded Learn to Skate program. All SAM 2021 programs are designed to give area youth the opportunity and access to skating and hockey programs, while following state and local guidelines related to COVID-19.

The new Learn to Play program will take place Sundays from Oct. 31 to Feb. 20, 2022. The one-hour lessons over 16 weeks, split into two eight-week sessions. Each session will take place from 8:20 to 9:20 a.m. at the ice vault. The program is designed for new players 4 to 7 years old. New players older than 7 are still welcome to join for free.

There is no cost for new players to participate in the Learn to Play Atoms program. Eligibility for the free program for new players is only valid for the duration of one season, Oct. 31 to Feb. 20, 2022. For any player 8 or older there is a $48 USA Hockey registration fee.

Rental equipment is available.  Free rental skates will be provided by the Ice Vault on a first-come, first-serve basis.

In addition to the Learn to Play Program, the association also announced a Hybrid Hockey Season. Players joining the free Learn to Play Atoms program can advance and register for the association’s 6U or 8U Tier 4 hockey program at the halfway point of the regular season. Pricing will be adjusted accordingly.

The association is looking for additional volunteers to fill vacant positions on the board and in the figure skating and hockey committees. For more information, contact Glenda Winn, vice president of the SAM board of directors, at [email protected].

To learn more at the association, visit maineskaters.com.

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