Alex Feingold is the president of The Binghamton Figure Skating Club and works with skaters of all levels.
"It takes a very special person. Both the personality and the team behind, the family, the coaches, it's a huge effort to go to the highest levels. But its not necessary to go to the highest levels to get a benefit from the sport," said Feingold.
16-year-old Ramona Miller was one of those special athletes who made it to the highest levels before being sidelined with a back injury. Skating was her life.
"I dedicated everything, I'd say. I left normal schooling and I did online schooling. I skated four hours a day with three hours of off-ice training. It was my life; it was my priority," said Miller.
So just how much was that priority worth?
"It's a lot. I mean just ice alone to skate is like $500 a month, and skates you need anywhere from six months to a year and those are at least $1,000. And then we had to move for better coaching so we had to pay rent. It cost around $40,000 a year. So the coaching is also a lot; they charge $100 an hour."
But you don't have to break the bank to participate in the sport. The Binghamton Figure Skating Club has some very affordable options. For beginners and intermediates there is the Learn to Skate Program that costs $85 for six lessons. If you decide you want more advanced training, that takes place during the Club Skate where Ice time starts at $15 per hour.
As far as equipment goes, you can rent them or purchase them for around $50 at your local sporting goods store.
But most importantly. And if you're going to take it to the next level, just make sure you and your child are committed.
"I want to go to that competition and hope I get first place," said 6-year-old Lily Bronson.
To learn more about the Southern Tier Figure Skating club, visit www.eteamz.com/BinghamtonFSC/news.
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