(September 14, 2007)
Coach Neil Carpenter from Orillia, Ont., is heading to Europe to become head coach and head of skater development with the Dutch national team.
This is a new challenge for the 62-year-old NCCP Level 4 certified coach who has been coaching figure skating for more than 43 years. Although the Netherlands is not a traditional powerhouse in figure skating, Carpenter believes the talent is there and hopes to help the Netherlands qualify one or more skaters for the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver.
Carpenter is a former pairs competitor. He was Canadian junior champion in 1963 and Canadian silver medallist in 1964 with his partner Linda Ward. They represented Canada at the 1963 World Figure Skating Championships in Cortina d’Ampezzo (Italy) and at the 1964 Olympic Games in Innsbruck (Austria).
Carpenter became a coach once he finished his competitive skating career in 1965. He first started coaching at the North Bay Figure Skating Club, and then moved on to Orillia Figure Skating Club and the Mariposa Figure Skating Club where he coached for 20 years.
Carpenter returned to Innsbruck for the Olympic Games in 1976 with his student Ron Shaver, who became national champion in 1977. With Carpenter as his coach Shaver also captured a national novice title (1966), two national silver medals (1973 and 1976) and two Skate Canada International gold medals (1974 and 1976). He also competed at five world championships where he always finished in the top-ten and reached fifth-place in 1974.
Skate Canada wishes Carpenter success in his new coaching capacity.