LINDA STORY Special to The Standard
SCUGOG: With surprise and happiness Josee Foster, formerly of Port Perry and Uxbridge Skating Clubs, recently received the exciting news, from Robin Belanger, she had received the Marion Cassie Memorial Scholarship Award.
This scholarship is presented annually, by the Uxbridge Skating Alumni, to a local skater who has not only shown skill in skating, but has volunteered his or her services to the community.
Josee Foster has a background extremely strong and vibrant in both of these required qualifications.
As a young skater, Josee was coached by Vyvan Coxworth, from whom she learned the basic skating skills, and later was coached by Trinette Goarley in Oshawa.
She volunteered to coach in the Canskate program, teaching young children skating skills.
At Carnival presentations, in both Uxbridge and Port Perry, Josee was there, once again, to help the young skaters learn their skating routines.
She went on to train to be a qualified Canskate Coach.
The most important and emotional decision for Josee and her skating career, was to move to Barrie to join the prestigious Mariposa Skating Club, in grade 10, after learning that Trinette Goarley, had been hired to coach there. After much discussion with her parents, Rob and Bev, it was decided that Josee needed to train at Mariposa if she was to reach her full potential as a skater. Josee spent the next 2 years at Mariposa, being billeted with several different families, and she very quickly became an elite athlete.
Josee was extremely fortunate to have had as her coaches, world-famous Paul Matheson and Doug Lee, who have coached national, international and Olympic competitors, such as Brian Orser and Elvis Stojko. Under their guidance, Josee was able to obtain all her gold levels in Dance, Freeskate, Interpretive and Skating Skills within two years, while attending Innisdale High School in Barrie.
This is an outstanding feat, which required many hours of dedication, mental focus, and extremely hard work, all done while living away from home.
During her final year at Mariposa Skating Club, seventeen-year-old Josee volunteered to produce "Mariposa Christmas On Ice", which highlighted the skating ability of the Club's elite skaters. The world skating champion, Jeffrey Buttle, performed at this event! The production was a great success, with profits going to Habitat for Humanity.
Josee returned home to attend the final semester of grade 12, at Uxbridge Secondary School. Being physically and emotionally spent, Josee needed to take time to recuperate from her 2 years of extremely exhausting schedules. Taking a year 'off' to readjust and contemplate her future, allowing her body and mind to heal, was the best decision for Josee and her family. Reconnecting with family members and friends helped her to adjust to 'real' life.
She is now ready and enthused to work towards her future goals. Josee starts at Ryerson University in the fall, to major in Journalism, a course which will prove to be less physically demanding than her past skating challenges. She feels well-prepared, both mentally and emotionally to handle this new endeavour. While at Ryerson, Josee is looking forward to trying out for the varsity skating team, where many aspects of skating will be practised, some of them being new to her: synchronized skating, freeskate, dance and freeskate 4, in which 4 skaters are on the ice together performing skills, some in sync. and some not.
Josee has too many favourite memories to list, but those that stand out for her are the one-on-one conversations she has had with her coaches over the years.
Josee feels the ideals and strength she gained from these coaches helped her to be able to transform a bad day into good. In addition, facing and meeting challenges in her competitive career was very rewarding for her, as was seeing her 'long program' progressing towards success. She will carry these positive thoughts and inner strength with her, always!
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