Avery has been figure skating since she was 5, when she took to it like duck to water. She used the milk crates for 3 minutes before she shoved them away, and has been skating ever since! She started with formal lessons 2 years later. This was also the year that it was confirmed that Avery has ADHD, and has issues with anxiety. Skating seemed to erase that anxiety, at least while she was on the ice. It was at our first end of year skate show where the shy, anxious girl got up in front of two full house crowds and skated like no one was watching. She was so proud of herself. She also went and got the autographs of our show guest skaters. On her own. This was HUGE, as she gets very anxious thinking about talking to people she doesn’t know. She still does! But with lots of hard work, Avery is slowly overcoming that anxiety, and is working through her learning and attention issues. Since she’s started skating, Avery has now has added horseback riding and equestrian vaulting to her sport arsenal, along with figure skating. She’s always drawing comparisons between her sports to help her with what she’s doing, either on horseback, skates or the vaulting barrel. She’s really coming into her own now. She’s made the honor roll both marking periods of her freshman year of high school! She’s joined “Best Buddies” at school, a national organization bringing friendship to kids with challenges. She wants to be an artist, a writer, and computer game designer.
Madison Quinn, age 17
Madison began skating at the age of 8 after watching a family friend begin skating at the
Pittsfield Figure Skating club, in Pittsfield MA. Madison skates in Pittsfield in the winter, and travels to several New York rinks throughout the summer to continue practicing. Madison has passed her Juvenile Moves in the Field, and her Pre Juvenile Freestyle. Madison competes annually at the Bay State Winter Games.
Outside of skating Madison regularly works with kids with cancer, who are often terminal. Madison works with the sick kids through her organization called Strong Little Souls. Through Strong Little Souls she has been able to send hundreds of care packages, and support families financially through tough times. Coming back to the rink gives
Madison a safe space, a place to keep her mind off of what heart breaking realities she watches. Madison loves to challenge herself and skating is the perfect way for her to do so! For her the rink is filled with so many familiar faces, many of which she now considers family. #pittsfieldfsc#usfigureskating #getup #wegetup
Kristin O’Connor is an adult figure skater who represents the Pittsfield Figure Skating Club, in Pittsfield MA. During her childhood she frequently skated on the pond behind her cousins house. She tells stories of how when they would fall in and would then have to walk home in their soaking wet clothes! Kris took her first official skating lesson when her daughter started in Learn To Skate. Since then, she has tested her Adult Pre-Bronze Moves, and one Bronze Dance. She is currently working on her Adult Bronze Moves, and the other two Bronze Dances. Kris has also skated with the club’s adult synchronized skating team, and participated in the club’s annual ice show many times. In addition to skating in shows and testing, Kris has held board member positions within the club. Despite a busy schedule, she always finds the time to skate! Even when her home rink closes for the summer, she is willing to travel to other rinks in the area to continue practicing. The fact that there are always new techniques and skills to learn, she says is what keeps skating interesting. The rink has and always will be somewhere that she feels at home. Kris may not be gung-ho to compete herself, but she can always be found in the stands at Local, National, and International competitions cheering on her fellow skaters.
Daniella stepped onto an ice rink for her very first lesson when she was 5 years old, she stepped out saying she couldn't wait to come back the next time, and that's what she's been doing for the last 10 years, coming back to the ice rink. Her love for ice skating was love at first sight and became one of her passions.
18 months ago her family was struck with a devastating situation, her father was diagnosed with an advanced stage of bile duct cancer. Faced with the strong desire to help in any way she could, she thought that giving nothing less than her very best in everything she did, was simply the best she could do, the rest was completely out of her hands. And so, she did, inspired by the courageous spirit of her father fighting cancer and not giving up but getting up every day, she joined the cross country team at her High School to be a better skater, she later joined the Track and Field team and suffered a knee injury that didn't stop her from training harder and earning a Gold Medal at the Lake Placid Figure Skating Championship and a Silver Medal at the 2017 State Games of America, and a gold medal at the 2018 Bay State Games, all while being a High Honors Student.
Her father passed away 4 months ago and she keeps going back to the ice rink, determined to honor him by not giving up but getting up and always giving her best.
Caroline Gillette, Age 14
Caroline Gillette is a honors freshman student at Taconic High School. She has been skating at the PFSC since she was 5 years old. She has loved to skate since the first time she stepped out on the ice. Caroline has devoted all of her free time to ice skating and horseback riding for the past 10 years. She balances both sports from September to June because she loves them both equally. She travels with her families' carnival business during the summer months so she is not able to skate all summer, so in order for her to remain competitive she must work extra hard in the winter months so not to lose ground. She competed in the Bay State games at Williams College for the first time last year and will again this year. Jumping is her favorite and she is working on landing her axle. Throughout the years, Caroline has been an active member of the club, volunteering regularly. She is always helping with the younger skaters, working as a helper with their weekly lessons. She is loved by the youngest of members to the oldest! Even if she has had a tough day at school she never fails to have a smile on her face and a friendly wave to the other skaters and coaches.Caroline will always say to anyone that asks, being on the ice makes her feel free and happy!
Aimee Boulais a senior at Pittsfield High School, MA has enjoyed skating at PFSC for 13 years. After her very first competition at an early age she fell in love with the competition track and that was her drive to do her best at every one thereafter. She worked hard at skating practices and listening to her coaches to be the best she could be on the ice. She focused on competing and successfully medaled at many local competitions, Bay State Games and State Games of America which fueled her love of skating for years to come.
Unfortunately Aimee has been plagued with injuries in the last few years, once keeping her off the ice for the entire 2015 season while she healed from foot surgery. She never gave up hope that she would return to the ice and worked hard to gain strength to get back in shape to put on a pair of skates again. Working through aches and pain at times but persevering, Aimee returned to the ice once again in 2016. She amazed everyone by landing double jumps and was overjoyed with a successful year competing again. Her love of skating was short lived as several injuries side lined her once again in 2017/2018. She knows injuries can be part of the sport and keeps a good attitude and not let it get to her down. She continues to be patient and holds hope in rising up over these physical adversities, getting up each and every time for the sport she loves. "Get up" is her motto for her senior skate program, she will skate the song Rise Up which tells the story of getting up no matter what challenges you may face.
Ava Barber, age 12
Ava is 12 years old and has been skating with the Pittsfield Figure Skating Club for the past 5 years. She developed a passion for skating after having to come to the rink on a weekly basis to watch her older sister skate. She took her first lesson and fell instantly in love with it. She has been working hard with her coach Amy every week and is focusing on passing her Free Skate 2. She is also a member of the Junior Pinwheels Synchro Team and hopes to one day move up to the competitive team.
In June of 2017, Ava’s father was diagnosed with Bladder Cancer. He underwent major surgery and chemotherapy treatments. In January 2018 he was cancer free. Unfortunately, his cancer returned this past August and had spread to his bones and liver. Ava was a huge help to her father, helping him out whenever she could. She watched as he fought hard through it all and skating became her outlet. She continued to work hard in school and on her in skills on the ice, despite everything going on with him. He knew she had a love for skating and would tell her to go skate and make him proud. Her father passed away in December 2018 and she continues to skate every week to honor him and make him proud. #pittsfieldfsc #getup#wegetup #figureskating #usfigureskating
Katie Malone-Smith is a returning adult skater who skated between the ages of 5 and 19 and tested up to preliminary Figures, Freestyle and MIF tests. She rejoined the skating world officially when she was 32 with the Pittsfield Figure Skating in Pittsfield, MA. After two seasons of returning to the ice, she took a break to give birth to her son, Charlie. Returning to the ice for a few more seasons, she had to take yet another break after having rotator cuff surgery. After months of physical therapy, she was back on the ice, this time competing in local and regional adult competitions in the Adult Bronze level. Katie also sits on the board of the PFSC as the media and marketing chair. Her favorite hashtag is #adultsskatetoo
When Katie’s father was diagnosed with terminal cancer, Katie spent much of her time in Connecticut with family. She would skate in rinks near where her Dad lived, so she was able to spend time with her family and take time for herself on the ice. The ice was the one place where she could clear away the worries of her mind and just skate. Balancing her life included having time for son and husband as well her family in Connecticut, her career as a public school art teacher, and of course, skating. Katie, who is approaching 40, progresses at her own rate and has been working on the Silver MIF level for 6 years. Unfazed by the slow progress, Katie will never quit, and is overcome by her love of skating every day. Her ultimate goal is to one day have an axel and pass the Gold MIF test. This might take another 20 years, but Katie will never stop skating or persevering.
Get Up Awards 2020
Aidan Lyman. Age 11
Aidan is 11 years old and in 5th grade. He first showed an interest in skating when he was around 4 years old, his older sister has been figure skating with the Pittsfield Figure Skating Club (PFSC) since she was 6yrs old. Unfortunately, figure skating itself did not fit with his learning style at the time, so we started with public skating options. When the PFSC started up the Learn to Skate Hockey lessons, it was the perfect fit. Aidan has been attending these sessions for a few years now and he has truly enjoyed it. Aidan has ADHD and two years ago was diagnosed with ASD. He struggles with anxiety and sensory issues. This Learn to Skate Hockey opportunity has been a perfect fit for him. He has gained confidence not only in his skating ability, but also in himself. It is amazing watching him skate on the ice, having fun while still working hard to improve his skills. The last 2 years we have watched Aidan hurtle over obstacles with leaps and bounds. He is excelling in school and in social settings. He is no longer the visibly anxious kid too nervous to head out on the ice alone, but the kid ready to go the moment the door to the rink is opened. He has achieved his first personal goal of being able to skate as fast as his sister skating forward. He is now able to give her a run for her money in a race! Aidan is now working on achieving his next personal goal of doing the same thing, but skating backwards!
Get Up Awards 2019
Get Up Awards 2018