A number of local parents were saddened to learn that the Grand Forks Figure Skating Club has officially disbanded.
The club recently received the resignation of coach Diana Tubrett. Tubrett replaced former coach Raymond Naismith in October after he left the club.
The post from board member Robert Black to the club’s Facebook group (as well as sent as an email to parents) on Feb. 9 stated, “Coach Diane Tubrett has withdrawn her agreement to provide coaching services to the Grand Forks Figure Skating Club effective immediately. This has left the board with only one option: further skating sessions are cancelled for the rest of the season.
“In light of a previous threat by the coach to withdraw services if her demands were not met, the board took the precuation of limiting purchases and conserving club funds…the board deeply regrets that all the hard work over the last three years to resuscitate and rehabilitate the club has come to this.”
When contacted by the Gazette, Tubrett had no comment.
Erin Perkins, a parent with a child in the junior program, said all the parents were surprised with the turn of events. She did say they have been told they will receive a full refund.
“We got an email out of the blue,” she said. “As a parent I didn’t even see it coming. We didn’t know there was a problem. Diana is an amazing coach. We love her as parents and she has a lot of support. We hope they can straighten this up for next year. They’re going to reimburse all our money which is great but we’d rather have our kids skating on the ice. It’s kind of sad.”
A representative from the Grand Forks Figure Skating Club did confirm the coach had left and that the board made the decision to disband the club. They wouldn’t speak any further stating that any discussions held by the board were in-camera (off the record).
“I’m sure none of the decisions were taken lightly,” said Perkins. “The parents are pretty upset about this whole thing. Diana is a exception coach. I saw massive amounts of improvement in my son as a result of her teaching. He loves skating. He was pretty upset and finding out he couldn’t skate anymore.”
GFREC has decided to host toonie public skating sesssions on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons from 3:45 p.m. to 4:45 p.m., which all the skaters are welcome to come out to Jack Goddard Memorial Arena and work on their skating.