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Thursday, May 13, 2021

80s-themed skate night fills Bellingham Sportsplex

SK8-NITE-2 CLB online
After the Bellingham Figure Skating club team left the ice following their performance at 80s Skate Night, an eager skater opened the rink for the rest of the evening on Saturday, May 30 at the Sportsplex.// Photo by Christina Becker

Leg warmers, neon tights and a lot of rad patterns were in abundance at the first ever Skate Night hosted by Western’s figure skating and hockey teams. The event drew a crowd of supporters for their first group performance and a night of open skating.

The Bellingham Sportsplex was full of 80s-styled clothing and some big hair on Saturday, May 30. The hockey team was on door entry and snack table duty, while the figure skating team talked to people who came to the event.

The music did not disappoint and had people dancing and skating around the rink as soon as they walked into the door.

The figure skating team was started last year by Rylie Pepich as a club sport.

“The majority of the year [was spent] getting established as a team,” Pepich said. “We have some new members that were beginners to skating so we were teaching them how to skate. A good part of first quarter was spent getting our practice situated and figuring stuff out logistically.”

“I think the main thing we want people to know is that they can still join our team even if they’re not super professional skaters,” Amy Lepis, a member of the figure skating team, said. “If they’re just interested in it they can totally join.”

Savannah Grey, another member of the team, said it’s a very positive environment to be a part of.

Grey said the team is separated into two sections, those who want to compete and those who want to learn to be better skaters. Next year, the team plans to enter into competitions, she said.

Since the team is new, they asked the hockey team to join in on the event, which brought a lot of their supporters.

The hockey team wants to be more supportive of the figure skating team, especially when they share the same rink for practices.

“We want to raise awareness for them as a program,” Billy Holbrook, a member of the team, said.

About halfway into the event, the figure skating team did their routine. Seven of the members performed and skated in unison to 80s rock ballads.

The team has 11 members who rank in different levels of skating. The event brought a crowd that filled the rink with 50 people or more.

“We wanted to do something at the end of the year to celebrate our first year as a club sport,” Pepich said.

The team hopes to make this an annual event to end their year off strong. 

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