Figure skating: B.C. Games teach skaters to concentrate

Twelve-year-old Beres Clements wins division with score of 34.62

Alina KonevskiBlack PressMen’s juvenile figure skating concluded on Friday at the Mission Leisure Centre with Richmond’s Beres Clements, 12, winning top place with a score of 34.62. Dreyton Nelmes came in second with 28.95, andCayden Mckenzie-Cook third with 27.85.When asked how he felt after skating to the podium, Clements simply said: “Happy.”“I landed the double axel for the first time at competition…I’m really working toward being an all-around good athlete.”The B.C. Winter Games are giving Clements a chance to develop not only his skating skills, but to get used to the behind-the-scenes realities of travelling for competitions. Like most of the other athletes,Clements is bunking on a mat at a school during his four days in Mission. The experience is noisy, he says, and is teaching him how to tune out unwanted sounds.“It’s helping me to block all distractions,” he said.Despite the close quarters, Clements slept just fine through the night. He brought that same concentration to his skate on Friday.Clements is part of the Connought Skating Club in Richmond. The club brought several great athletes to the B.C. Winter Games, including Jessica Mchugh, who came in fourth in the pre-novice women’s shortprogram earlier in the day. Skaters often train at the Richmond Olympic Oval.“It’s a really great club. We had a lot of players move up…We should have a really good team next year going to nationals,” said one of the coaches, Matt McMurdo.For Clements, the club’s success lies in its ability to teach skaters how to focus.“Friendly people, but really concentrated, focussed, atmosphere. Committed.”Clements is taking that focus all the way to pre-novice next.