Ryerson has hired an accomplished figure skater and coach, Tiffany Elliot, to bring Ryerson’s figure skating team to new heights.
As head coach, Elliot said she hopes to bring a unique skill set to the table to help build on the success of the figure skating program .
“The team is already really strong in free skate and dance, so we’re going to build on that with an equally strong synchro component,” said Elliot.
Elliot has coached at the club level for years at Skate Canada Brampton-Chinguacousy. In 2008, she helped coach Brampton’s Junior Gold Ice Team to a first- and second-place finish at the Canadian National Championships, qualifying for the World Junior Synchronized Skating Championships.
As a coach, Elliot said she always tries to put herself in the skaters’ shoes. She aims to provide the Ryerson figure skating team with information and lessons to improve its skills on and off the ice.
“Coaching helps me connect with the sport in a new way,” she says. “I love being able to give back to the skating community when I can.”
Elliot has been skating for a almost as long as she has been walking. She attributes her passion for skating and coaching to her mother, who was also a figure skating coach.
Coaching isn’t the only thing Elliot is known for, however. She also has achieved a lot in her time as a figure skater.
Elliot has been a member of Skate Canada Brampton-Chinguacousy (formerly known as the Brampton Figure Skating Club) for over 20 years. She is a quad gold medalist, completing the highest tests in all four disciplines: free skate, dance, skills and interpretive. Elliot has also achieved Diamond Dance status and skated with the 2008-09 NEXXICE senior women’s synchronized team in Croatia, bringing home Canada’s first-ever gold medal in synchronized skating.
The new Rams head coach said her participation in elite-level figure skating is something that can only help the figure skating team at Ryerson.
“As a former competitive synchronized skater, I hope to bring my experience and skills in that discipline to bolster the program,” said Elliot.
Lisa Jensen, a fifth-year Ryerson student and veteran member of the Rams’ figure skating team, said she is thrilled to have Elliot as the new head coach and says she is a great leader and extremely hard-working.
Jensen said the new coach began to put together an impressive synchronized skating practice in just her first time on the ice with the team.
“On her first day on the ice with the team, she worked with every skater and started choreographing programs. She is such a talented skater herself and brings such a positive energy to the ice,” said Jensen.
Last season, Ryerson figure skating won its first team Ontario University Athletics (OUA) medal on Ryerson’s home ice, Mattamy Athletic Centre.
“Being a part of the team when we won our first OUA medal was such an incredible feeling and accomplishment,” said Jensen. It was something we trained extremely hard for and helped each other in the training process.”
This year, the OUA competition will be held at Guelph University. The Ryerson Rams’ figure skating team will participate in a skating competition simulation with University of Toronto skaters at the end of this month. Their first official competition will be Jan. 29-30 at University of Toronto, where the new head coach will make her Ryerson debut.
Elliot said her primary goal in her time at the university is to grow the school’s program and put Ryerson on the map in figure skating.
“I want to build on the successes the program has already delivered and create an environment where skaters say they want to come to Ryerson not only because of the great academic programs, but also because they have an amazing figure skating team,” Elliot says. “That would be a great success.”