Matthew Nielsen Skates His Way to a Silver Medal

Posted by on Jan 4, 2018 in Skaters | Comments Off on Matthew Nielsen Skates His Way to a Silver Medal

Strongsville Skating Club Member, Matthew Nielsen won the Silver National Medal in the Intermediate Men’s event at the 2018 USFSA Championships which was held December 29 – January 7 in San Jose, California. Matthew is one of 12 from the entire country that vied for the Intermediate Men’s National Title.

To get here, Matthew won the Intermediate Men’s Event at this year’s U.S. Figure Skating Eastern Great Lakes Regional Competition held in Antioch, Tennessee. As the EGL Regional Champion, Matthew had advanced to the 2018 U.S. Figure Skating Midwest Sectional Competition in Minneapolis, Minnesota. There he won the Silver Medal in his event. Only the top four medalists at Sectionals qualify and move on to compete at the Championships.

Matthew’s program was packed with 4 triple jumps and 2 double axels. He trains at the Strongsville Skating Club in Strongsville, Ohio and is primarily coached by Christian Martin. His program choreographer is Jacqueline Henry.

Matthew is 14 years old and is an 9th grader at Wooster High School. He is a member of the National Junior Honor Society.


Letter from the GCCFSC President

Posted by on Dec 30, 2017 in News | Comments Off on Letter from the GCCFSC President

To the Member Clubs of The Greater Cleveland Council Of Figure Skating Clubs:

This has been a very busy skating season for me as President of GCCFSC and as a member of the Board of Directors of US Figure Skating. Many initiatives have been undertaken by the Board Of Directors including Test Refresh, Committee Realignment, and review of our Nominating Committee structure together with preparation of a new Strategic Plan for US Figure Skating that corresponds to the next Olympic Quadrennial. Each of these initiatives will, if passed by Governing Council, impact you and your skater in the coming year.

I have been lucky enough to have played a part in each of these initiatives. I am aware that as members of US Figure Skating it is sometimes difficult to determine what is actually being done by the organization for you and your skater at the “grass roots” level of figure skating. There are many programs that exist for our clubs and our members. We have not done as good a job at providing to our membership information about our programs and what services we provide to our members. I can assure you that staff at Headquarters is working diligently and at capacity to assist our membership in “getting the word out” about our programs. Below you will find links to some of the programs I refer to.

Helpful links on the U.S. Figure Skating web site:

Please take the time to read the SafeSport Handbook found on the website so that you can continue your efforts to provide your skaters with a safe and fun environment in which to skate. The SafeSport Handbook will provide insight into the way in which your child is coached and it deals with many common issues which can be addressed by you as a parent in order to best protect your child while skating.

Finally, the Board of Directors of the GCCFSC has also been busy with planning for the skating season. As you may know we hosted a Club Ed Plus program last fall, created here in Cleveland by GCCFSC, which is now used around the country as a tool to keep the skating community educated about the changing world of figure skating. We continue to bid for competitions and other US Figure Skating programs like Components camp and the Synchro festival. We, together with the CC2000 Trust, continue to provide funding to our member clubs and their skaters throughout the season.

It has been my pleasure to work with the other members of the Board of Directors of GCCFSC who work countless hours as volunteers at competitions, in programs, and in meetings of the board to continue to make figure skating a fun and enjoyable activity. From the Board of Directors of GCCFSC please have a happy and safe New Years.

Steve Wolkin
President GCCFSC

Sectionals Exhibition at Mentor – Nov 5 at 4:15pm

Posted by on Nov 3, 2017 in Skaters | Comments Off on Sectionals Exhibition at Mentor – Nov 5 at 4:15pm

Congratulations to the Greater Cleveland area skaters who are advancing to USFS sectionals:

  • Christina Rackley, Winterhurst FSC – Senior Ladies
  • Tori Bennett, Mentor FSC- Junior Ladies
  • Caroline Green, Pavilion FSC – Junior Dance
  • Eliana Gropman, Pavilion FSC – Junior Dance
  • Nathan Chapple, Shaker FSC – Novice Men
  • Dylan Wajda, Wooster FSC – Novice Men
  • Mathew Nielson, Stronsgsville FSC- Intermediate Men
  • Maria Brown and Marius Driscoll, Pavilion FSC- Intermediate Dance
  • Matthew Mlachak, Gilmour Academy FSC- Juvenile Boys
  • Katie McBeath, Westminster SC of Erie – Senior Ladies

Please come to the exhibition being held on Sunday, November 5 at 4:15pm at the Mentor Ice Arena to applaud their accomplishments.

Download the Exhibition Flyer.

Help out the Memorial Fund by Donating Memorabilia or Experiences

Posted by on Oct 10, 2017 in Fundraisers | Comments Off on Help out the Memorial Fund by Donating Memorabilia or Experiences

Do you have an exclusive item or access to a unique experience? Maybe a signed photo of Michelle Kwan? Or a summer home in the Hamptons that’s available for the weekend?

You can turn these into Memorial Fund dollars that will support U.S. Figure Skating athletes of all ages, from Learn to Skate to Team USA.

U.S. Figure Skating will pay shipping costs and issue donation receipts for any items/experiences valued at over $250.

To learn more, contact Brent Diederich, Manager, Giving Programs at 719.228.3424 or

For more information on the U.S. Figure Skating Memorial Fund, visit

Download a full-size copy of the flyer here.

Club Education Seminar – September 30th

Posted by on Aug 16, 2017 in Training Camps | Comments Off on Club Education Seminar – September 30th

Please join us for the Club Education Plus Seminar, hosted by the Greater Cleveland Council of Figure Skating Clubs, on Saturday, September 30th, from 10:00 – 5:00 p.m. at the Mentor Civic Ice Arena. We will be discussing the day-to-day operations and business related topics of running a successful and financially viable figure skating club. Whether your club has been around for years or it has just been formed, you are the foundation of our sport and the essential link to the success of your members.

This seminar is open to all current and prospective board members, skating directors, coaches and rink management staff – everyone who serves in a leadership position. This seminar is in conjunction with Skate Dance Dream Performance Camp so bring your skater along for a fun-filled day.

The fee is $75 per person or a maximum of $250 per board of four or more members. The fee includes all materials and lunch. You must pre-register if planning to attend. Deadline to register is September 22nd.

Meeting location:
Mentor Civic Ice Arena
8600 Munson Rd, Mentor, OH 44060

Topics discussed during the day will include:
Leadership and Governance

  • Club mission, purpose and vision
  • Bylaws, club standing rules
  • U.S. Figure Skating structure
  • Getting work accomplished – role of committees

Business Practices/Financial Management

  • Safeguarding your club
  • Fundraising

Membership Development

  • Programs to grow membership
  • Recruiting and retaining volunteers
  • Working with your coaching staff; understanding coaching credentials
  • Conflict Management
  • SafeSport Program – how to implement and enforce

Programs and Events

  • Competitions
  • Special Events

To register for this seminar, click here.

If you have any questions, please contact Sue Clemente at or Susi Wehrli McLaughlin at

We look forward to seeing you in Mentor!

USFS Club Ed Plus is Coming to Mentor

Posted by on Jul 28, 2017 in Training Camps | Comments Off on USFS Club Ed Plus is Coming to Mentor

Saturday September 30 from 8:00am to 5:00pm at the Mentor Ice Arena.
This event is hosted by the Greater Cleveland Council of Figure Skating Clubs in Partnership with Skate Dance Dream. There is something for everyone.

For Skaters:
A 1-Day Performance Camp covering:

  • Creative Movement Edge & Footwork Classes
  • Musical Interpretation & Expression
  • Autograph Session/Q & A with Faculty
  • Group Performance Number (Faculty will Perform with the Kids!)

Open to levels Freeskate 3 through Senior.Groupings will be divided by LEVEL with age as a secondary divider
Camp Faculty: TBA

For Club Board members, Parents & Coaches:

  • Two tracks for new and experienced board members
  • Parent Education Workshop
  • Coach Workshop
  • On & Off-Ice Workshop with Special Guest Faculty

Download the event flyer and post it at your rink. More details will follow.

Learn to Skate USA Instructor Workshop in Mentor

Posted by on Jul 17, 2017 in Coaching | Comments Off on Learn to Skate USA Instructor Workshop in Mentor

Learn to Skate USA offers ongoing education for all class assistants, instructors and directors covering the Learn to Skate USA curriculum, teaching techniques, testing standards, class organization, safety/liability, parent education, special events, customer service and available resources.

Learn to Skate USA will be offering the Art of Teaching workshop in Mentor on Sunday, October 1 from 1:00-6:0pm.

This workshop is designed for instructors with two or more years of group teaching experience and skating directors. The workshop is 5 hours in length, covers advanced roles as an instructor, teaching techniques, Compete USA and has an on-ice component. Remember to bring your skates.

Specific topics presented at this workshop include :

  • Information about the Learn to Skate USA program – available resources, instructional materials, and marketing collateral.
  • Instructional Elements- class orientation, skills, teaching tips, class organization/management, lesson plans and evaluation standards
  • Fun and games to keep skaters involved
  • Compete USA
  • Specialty classes
  • Your role and responsibility in being an excellent group lesson instructor

For more information and/or to register for the workshop, go to Registration is required and closes on Friday, September 22, 2017. Cost of the workshop is $25. PSA Credit will be given for the workshop.

Apply now for USFS Community Development Grants

Posted by on Mar 24, 2017 in Grants | Comments Off on Apply now for USFS Community Development Grants

U.S. Figure Skating is awarding six Community Development Grants for the 2017-18 membership year. These grants will provide money to selected U.S. Figure Skating member clubs, Learn to Skate USA programs and U.S. Ice Rinks Association member facilities for the purpose of developing community-based programs/events to attract, involve and inspire new generations of skaters.

Six $2,000 grants will be allocated to the clubs, programs or facilities that most effectively demonstrate how they will use the grant to develop these initiatives. To apply for the grants, email a concise plan to U.S. Figure Skating in care of Susi Wehrli McLaughlin, U.S. Figure Skating Senior Director, Membership, at Each plan must contain the following information:

1) Complete contact information and program affiliation
2) Brief history or mission of the organization requesting the grant
3) Concise statement outlining your program/event plan
4) How this will benefit your community and the growth/development of ice skating
5) Who is your target audience? What is the anticipated number of participants?
6) Describe the marketing strategies and tactics to be used
7) How will you measure your success?
8) Timeline of your program/event

Application Deadline: May 31, 2017

Grants will be awarded after July 1, 2017.

Only applications submitted by email will be considered. Please send your plan as a PDF, if possible. Plans received by the application deadline will be forwarded to a selection committee. All applicants will be notified of the results. Late applications will not be considered.

Grassroots to Champions Seminar is coming to Shaker FSC

Posted by on Mar 21, 2017 in Training Camps | Comments Off on Grassroots to Champions Seminar is coming to Shaker FSC

The Grassroots to Champions Seminar will be held on Monday June 19, 2017.
Registration is 7:30-8:00am. The seminar begins at 8:00 am and concludes at 3:45 pm for skaters. Day 1 concludes with a Parent chat at 4:00-4:30pm.

  • $100 per skater
  • Register early. Space is Limited to the first 60 skaters
  • Individual coach fee is $50 (coaches who enlist 4 skaters may attend FREE!)
  • Lunch and snacks are included.

Register at

Private Lessons
On Tuesday, June 20, private lessons with G2C staff (Tom Zakrajsek, Audrey Weisiger, Tommy Sternberg) will be available by appointment beginning at 6:15am and available through 2:00pm at Thornton Park.
Cost is $42 per 20 minute session. Private lessons are available to seminar participants only.

For details contact:
Angie Chapple-Wang 216-577-6002
Stacey Krantz 216-789-2487

USFS Program Components Camp is coming to Strongsville

Posted by on Jan 11, 2017 in Training Camps | Comments Off on USFS Program Components Camp is coming to Strongsville

programcamp2017 U.S. Figure Skating Program Components Camp
April 21-23, 2017
Strongsville, Ohio

This is a fun 2 ½ day training camp that is aimed at singles athletes currently competing at, or working towards, the Regional Championships at the Juvenile level or higher. Athletes will be divided into teams of 20 skaters, by level, age and gender. The classes are focused on helping skaters learn fun ways to develop their skills in the program components area.

USFS has not released the faculty, however, faculty in the past included: Tanith White, Ben Agosto, Yevgeny Martynov, Gig Siruno, Josh Babb, Adam Blake, and Paula Wagener. They will be accompanied by current Team USA athletes.

The camp will also feature a 3-day Coaches IJS Educational Forum, a Parents’ Education Track and a S.T.A.R.S. combine.

Quick overview of schedule:

· S.TA.R.S. Combine for Athletes (Optional)
· IJS Education Forum for Coaches
· Program Components Camp Athlete On-Ice Session & Welcome

· Program Components Camp – Athlete Track
· Program Components Coaches Education
· Parents Education Track

· Program Components Camp – Athlete Track
· Program Components Coaches Education
· Parents Education Track

The registration deadline is March 1, 2017.
Registration link for Athletes:

Download the Athlete Information Packet  
Download the Coaches Information Packet