The Kevin Duffy Memorial Foundation – A hole in one for figure skating

When a skater pulls off the best program of their lives, the crowd usually throws flowers or stuffed animals at the skater’s feet.

Kevin Duffy threw Easter treats and Christmas candies instead. Duffy was a figure skating fan. He loved the sport and was excited when his daughter, Angela Duffy, became a coach with the Extreme Edge Skating Club.

When Kevin died in 2004, the board members wanted to start a foundation in his honour. According to Angela, he was always at the rink and everyone was fond of him.

The Kevin Duffy Memorial Foundation was established the following year. The goal of the foundation is to assist athletes with expenses. To support the foundation, an annual golf tournament is held.

The Kevin Duffy Memorial Foundation’s 8th Annual Golf Tournament will take place on July 27. This year, the tournament is taking place at Duffy’s Challenge near Stony Plain. All proceeds go to the foundation, which funds a Special Needs Learn to Skate Program at the Extreme Edge Skating Club, a program unique to Edmonton.

The program invites children between ages four to 16 with special needs – such as autism, Down Syndrome or visual impairments – to learn how to skate.

Extreme Edge uses educational resources from the Centre for Autism and the classes are tailored to the students’ needs.

“It should be – not all children are the same,” said Angela.

With 15 to 18 students on the ice at a time, maintaining a 1:1 ratio is a must.

“Every child has an aide on the ice,” said Angela. “A person is hands-on all the time.”

According to Duffy, parents can be hesitant when their child is about to take to the ice for the first time, “Putting the helmet on can sometimes take half an hour the first day.”

Once the student is on the ice, though and the parent realizes their child is fine, Duffy said there’s “such relief on the parent’s face.”

And the kids and focus on being kids.
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If you are interested in volunteering as an aide with Extreme Edge, contact Extreme Edge at 780-456-6851 or www.extremeedge.ca
If you would like to participate in the Kevin Duffy Memorial Foundation 8th Annual Golf Tournament, please contact Doug at (780) 504-5027

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Originally published in the Edmonton Journal.

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