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International students take to the ice in Sault Ste. Marie

Newcomers to Canada got a special welcome-to-Canada moment Friday in the Sault when they received skating lessons.

Julia Costa, who moved from Brazil to attend Sault College, figured she should try out the skill seemingly critical to Canadians.

“It’s important for us to learn this culture that we’re now being a part of, and this is a big part of it because hockey is very big around here,” Costa said.

Ricardo Medina moved to the Sault from Colombia six months ago. He attended with his 11-year-old daughter Isabella for similar reasons.

“This is very Canadian,” Medina said.

“So we are in Canada, we need to learn because winter is coming, and it’s an activity to do in the cold weather.”

The event was hosted by Your Neighbourhood Credit Union. Kirstin Dias, the credit union's marketing director, said it’s a way to introduce the passion of many northerners to those just getting used to Canada.

“International students are often asking for skating lessons, but don’t want to join kid’s lessons,” Dias said.

“So we thought, why not offer international student-only lessons for free with our YNCU instructors?”

The one-on-one tutelage allows for quicker progress, said Dhanushi Withanawasam.

“I really enjoyed it,” Withanawasam said.

“I fall many times but still now I can balance.”

The YNCU is holding four more skating lessons for international students sessions Fridays at 11 a.m.

Skates and helmets are provided. Anyone interested can register at the group’s website. Top Stories

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