Local skating coach Patricia Hole joins Oil Capitals

Her resume speaks for itself but it’s her humbleness that separates her from the pack – and it’s a big reason why the Virden Oil Capitals came calling.

Decorated skating coach Patricia Hole has joined the Oil Caps as the club’s power skating instructor. With more than 30 years of coaching experience, Hole will work with the Oil Capitals players during the season, helping improve the players’ skating abilities as much as possible.

“Patty fits our organizational need of working with and associating with good quality people,” said Jamie Hodson, director of business and hockey operations for the Oil Capitals. “Patty has an extreme desire to see her athletes improve, whether in figure skating and now recently as she ventures into hockey as well.”

The owner and operator of a skating school for the past 14 years, Hole has more than 35 years of experience as a skating coach. She coached figure skaters Rudi Swiegers and Paige Lawrence at the World Championships and Winter Olympics in the past, she’s received multiple coach recognition awards and in 2011, she was inducted into the Virden Collegiate Hall of Fame.

“It’s going to be a challenge. Hopefully I have something to offer them,” Hole said humbly. “I’m excited. For me to be able to provide my knowledge of skating in a different discipline excites me.”

Hole will work with the players in different aspects of their skating ability – whether it’s their balance, agility, edge work, etc. Tate Popple, a Brandon product, who spent the majority of last season with the AAA midget Wheat Kings, ended up reaching out to Hole to help him with his skating this offseason.

“I think she’s going to do great with the Oil Caps. She’s so keen on helping people try to achieve their goals and working on specific stuff that they need to work on,” Popple said. “You can tell that Patty wants to be there. She’s going to be a great fit and I wish her the best.”

Hole says she plans on sitting down with the Oil Capitals soon to figure out what works best for the team and for herself from a schedule standpoint.

“We’re still figuring out a concrete schedule with Patty,” Hodson said. “She’ll work with the team on a scheduled basis as the year moves forward, and it’s dependent on her availability in combination with what works for the team.”

Hodson says to have an Olympic coach in the Oil Caps’ backyard, it just seemed like a natural fit for the team to have her on board.

“From a team perspective, it’s incumbent that we find and utilize the resources to allow our players to be successful,” he said. “As an organization, we want to offer all avenues to see that we develop our players in every way possible to give them the opportunity to make it to the next level.”

Hodson has had experiences with Hole since he was young through skating, his sister’s skating and different family relationships.

“Through my experience with Patty, she will earn the respect of our players quickly,” Hodson said. “And if not, she isn’t afraid to set the record straight. She wants to work with players who want to better themselves – and are not just going through the motions.”

Troy Leslie, Oil Caps head coach and GM, couldn’t agree more.

“Players striving to reach their full potential and get to the next level understand the importance of being powerful, efficient skaters. Patty will offer a wealth of knowledge and experience to our organization and I look forward to working with her this season.”