Karen Rothgery, a coach from the Albert Lea Figure Skating Club, learns how to use a new jump harness system from Marc Lebel, a competitive skater and the system designer. — Submitted
Karen Rothgery, a coach from the Albert Lea Figure Skating Club, learns how to use a new jump harness system from Marc Lebel, a competitive skater and the system designer. — Submitted

A.L. flips for new harness

Published 2:46am Tuesday, February 26, 2013

New system at arena helps skaters learn advanced jumps

The Albert Lea Figure Skating Club replaced its outdated and unsafe jump harness system this season with a new system designed by a competitive skater.

In this system, a skater will wear a harness attached to a rope and pulley system, while the coach will control the height and descent of the skater. The system helps skaters learn advanced jumps without fear of injury.

This system also helps the local skating club stay current with coaching tools at clubs in the surrounding region. The investment is a way the club is working to help members skate competitively.

“This new harness helps build confidence, reduces learning time, and prevents injury as a skater learns new and more difficult jumps with the safety of the coach catching their fall,” said Albert Lea Figure Skating Club coach Karen Rothgergy. “It’s making a big difference with the club, as is evident in the top finishes of our skaters at regional competitions this season.”

This $4,100 system, designed by Marc Lebel of New York, was made possible by club members investing additional funds, donations from individuals, and contributions from area businesses.

The club thanks its donors and invites the community to its annual show March 23-24 at the Albert Lea City Arena. Tickets for “Planes, Trains and Blades” are available from members and at the door.