Addison Canada, Mariana Illescas, Jenna Cochran Tanner, and Dannuel Clark of the Austin Peay State University Figure Skating Club pose inside the Ford Ice Center. Photo Provided by Jenna Cochran Tanner.
With the opening of the F&M Bank Arena downtown, Austin Peay State University has recently announced the creation of the APSU Hockey Team. This indirectly has opened up opportunities for other ice sports, such as figure skating, to also become popularized in Clarksville.
Jenna Cochran Tanner, a senior at APSU and the President of the newly-founded Figure Skating Club, gave some insight as to how the Ford Ice Center has opened up new opportunities for the implementation of ice sports in Clarksville.
“With the opening of the new arena and Ford Ice Center, this is the first rink here in Clarksville that isn’t a seasonal one. The rink has brought a new opportunity for people to get into figure skating, hockey, recreational skating, all of that,” said Tanner.
Tanner believes that with the opportunity to open up new college ice sports, possibly at the varsity level, comes the chance to promote recruitment for APSU.
“We’re hoping in the near future that this will become a varsity sport with Austin Peay State University. There’s not that many varsity figure skating teams, so this will really open up an opportunity for skaters all across the country,” Tanner said.
The Ford Ice Center, which is attached to the F&M Bank Arena, has opened up opportunities for people to learn to skate. The center hosts public skates, as well as learn-to-skate classes.
APSU Figure Skating Club also hosts open skates and skill classes at the Ford Ice Center, where APSU students can socialize with the club and learn to skate.
“Right now, we’re really open to everyone recreationally. We want to be able to introduce the idea of collegiate level competition, but not force anyone to compete. We want a space where people feel like they can try out new stuff and learn a new sport without the pressure of having to compete,” said Tanner.
“The end goal is to not be a club sport, but a varsity sport here at APSU. We love beginners; even if you have never skated a day in your life, come hang out with us. Come to one of our public skates and learn how to skate,” Tanner said.