Wissahickon Skating Club
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The Entrance sign to Wissahickon Skating Club
|Wissahickon Skating Club|
|Location||550 West Willow Grove Avenue, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States|
|Club Colors||Red, White, Blue|
|President||Kevin R. Hamel|
|Vice President-Ice Committee||Tom Dwyer|
|Vice President-Membership||Kathryn E. Larkin|
|Vice President-House Committee||Richard Podulka|
|Treasurer||Ernest G. Neve, III|
Wissahickon Skating Club (WSC) is a non-profit skating club in the Chestnut Hill section of Philadelphia. The club was organized in 1954 for the purpose of supporting amateur and professional athletes for ice hockey and figure skating competitions. Construction began in 1955, and in 1956, the doors opened. The original building still stands today.
WSC was started in 1954 by a group of Chestnut Hill residents who believed their community would benefit from a skating rink. With the contributions from many families, the rink was opened in 1956. Originally the club only operated for seven months out of the year. However, by the late 1950s the club was operating year round due to new rink cooling technology.
The Wissahickon Skating Club's Youth Hockey Program is likely the longest standing hockey program in the greater Philadelphia area. In the early years, our Club operated as an independent organization competing against clubs similar in structure to WSC. Throughout the ‘60s, ‘70s, and ‘80s the club produced many of the areas elite players. Many of these players advanced to prominent boarding schools and NCAA Division 1 hockey programs. The program's most notable Alumnus is two-time Olympian and New York Rangers Stanley Cup Champion goaltender, Mike Richter. Brian O'Neil (Yale University ECAC, Manchester Monarch's AHL) is another notable alum. In the early ‘90s WSC became a member of the Delaware Valley Hockey League and has since represented the DVHL and the Atlantic District at local and national championships. Typically, the club fields between 10 and 12 Youth Hockey teams (6-18) and 4 levels of Sr hockey teams (19 and older). The Wissahickon Sr "A" team has been particularly strong in recent years winning its very competitive league three years in a row and 4 of the last 6.
WSC vs. MAA
For the past 53 years, WSC and The Merritton Athletic Association located in St. Catharines, Ontario have operated a Peewee and Bantam level exchange tournament (alternating as hosts). This is a truly remarkable event and one of the oldest American/Canadian hockey exchanges between two clubs in North America. The tournament is for the Peewee A and Bantam A levels. Each player is assigned a billet, to stay with during the tournament. The tournament location alternates yearly between Philadelphia and Merritton and is held during President's Day weekend or Family Day weekend in Ontario. There is a skills competition, exhibition game, and championship game at the Peewee and Bantam levels. In addition there is an alumni game held for past participants. In 2017, mixed team competitions, a trade of players between teams, replaced the skills competition at the conclusion of the tournament.
WSC has a very strong figure skating program, thanks to the many veteran professional figure skaters that give daily instruction. WSC held the 1998 US National Figure Skating Championship. The club is also home to The Philadelphia Symmetry synchronized skating teams.
Every two or three years the club presents an ice show called Wisscapades. The ice show, always tied to a theme, is designed to showcase WSC skaters and give the community an opportunity to see high-level skating talent. Each show has several guest stars. Guests at "Wisscapades Around the World," scheduled for March 18 and 19, 2011, will include Emmanuel Savary, 13, who finished in fifth place in the Junior Men's category of the 2011 U.S. Figure Skating Championships. A phenomenal performer and potential Olympic contender, Savary drew standing ovations at Wisscapades in 2009. Other guests for the 2011 show are the senior dance team of Baxter Burbank and Katharine Zeigler and Kirsten Seagers, a former medalist in ice dancing and current singles competitor in the Junior Ladies category.
WSC has a pro shop with hockey/figure merchandise. Custom sharpening is also available in the pro shop.
WSC is open every Friday night from 8:30-10:30 for public skating. There are also additional skating slots around the holidays. In addition to public sessions the ice can also be rented depending on availability. There is also space for birthday parties and private events.