Dundas skater Andrew Britten and his partner Sophie Knippel of Ottawa will compete in the ice dance discipline in the second in a series of eight ISU Junior Grand Prix events in Merano, Italy. The event will run from Sept. 3-7 and Canada will compete in three of the four disciplines – men’s, ladies and ice dance.
Britten, 19 and Knippel, 18, will be one of the two Canadian ice dance teams and will be making their second appearance on the junior circuit after a 12th-place finish last year in Vienna.
This year they won the bronze medal at the BMO Canadian Figure Skating Championships in the junior ice dance discipline. The pair trains at the Mariposa School of Skating with coaches David Islam, Kelly Johnson and Pavol Porac.
The second Canadian ice dance team competing is Tarrah Harvey, 18, of Vancouver, B.C., and Keith Gagnon, 20, of Surrey, B.C. This is their second year on the ISU Junior Grand Prix circuit. In 2007 they placed eighth in Zagreb, Croatia. Harvey and Gagnon placed fourth in the junior ice dance category at the 2008 BMO Canadian Figure Skating Championships. The pair trains at the BC Centre of Excellence with their coaches Megan Wing and Aaron Lowe.
Skate Canada will have a team of eight young skaters at the Italian competition. Dave Ferland, 18, of Metabetchouan, Que., will be one of two men representing Canada. This will be Ferland’s second year on the ISU Junior Grand Prix circuit having placed seventh in 2007 in Zagreb, Croatia. Ferland was the junior men’s bronze medalist at the 2008 BMO Canadian Figure Skating Championships. Coach Nathalie Martin trains Ferland at CPA St-Léonard.
Joining Ferland will be Ronald Lam, 17, of Coquitlam, B.C. Lam will also be making his second appearance on the junior circuit the first being in 2007 when he placed 15th in Tallinn, Estonia. Lam trains out of the Coquitlam SC with coaches Bruno Delmaestro and Kelly-Lynn Champagne.
In the ladies discipline Vanessa Grenier will be representing Canada as a rookie on the ISU Junior Grand Prix circuit. Grenier, 16, of Sherbrooke, Que., placed second in junior ladies at the 2008 BMO Canadian Figure Skating Championships. Grenier trains with coaches Cynthia Lemaire, Marie-France Peloquin and Marie-Christine Grenier at CPA Sherbrooke.
Rika Inoda will be joining the ISU Junior Grand Prix circuit for the second year in a row. In 2007 Inoda placed seventh in Zagreb, Croatia. Inoda, 15, of Burnaby, B.C., trains at the BC Centre of Excellence with coaches Joanne McLeod and Jill Marie Harvey.
Petra Burka of Toronto, will be the team manager at the event. Nicole Leblanc-Richard of Dieppe, N.B., and Richard Vallee of Sault Ste Marie, Ont., will be the Canadian officials at the competition.