"Creativeskater", for Jan./Feb. 2011
By: Elizabeth Hollett Shackett
Matthew Kennedy started skating at age 5 in a Learn-to-Skate program followed by a Bridge Program and finally, into private lessons and competitive skating. Now at age 9, Matthew has performed in his skating club’s annual ice show, passed US Figure Skating Tests, and has medalled in local and statewide competitions. Undeniably, Matthew loves figure skating and especially the challenges the sport brings him.
Matthew feels that his strength is jumping. His favorites are the axel and double salchow. In fact, he won a trophy for being the first to land 8 out of 10 axels this past August. His technical coach, Marcia Walkney, set the challenge. It was a friendly competition among our students that inspired him and the others to work hard on this critical jump. Matthew set out to meet the challenge first. He put endless effort into his axel the trophy was most satisfying for him.
Matthew’s favorite skater is Olympic Champion, Evan Lysacek. After seeing his idol perform in Atlantic City this past December, he has been practicing even harder. His ultimate goal is to compete at the South Atlantic Regional Championship at the Juvenile level. Another big challenge ahead of him!
Matthew not only skates but plays soccer too. This 4th-grader says soccer helps skating with agility and endurance whereas “skating helps me have better balance and helps me with my footwork in soccer.” Besides soccer and skating, he is also a Webelo Cub Scout and volunteers with his father for Habitat for Humanity. His favorite school subjects are Math, Science, and Reading. Matthew’s mother and younger brother also skate.