Elise Requadt was four when her parents introduced her to skating to give her a jump start on learning how to ski. “Skating and downhill skiing use transferable skills,” says her mother, Kelly. “But we soon didn’t have time for skiing; she took to skating instantly.”
Elise’s quick comfort on the ice would eventually become a central part of her life. She and Kelly joined The Skating Club of Boston in 2010, and over the next decade, Elise, who also studied ballet, initially focused on singles skating. Under the tutelage of Club coaches, she was a two-time New England Regional finalist. A passion for synchronized skating soon captivated her and carried her all the way to the top tier. With Team USA, she competed in five international competitions (including the Junior World Championships); she has been a novice synchronized champion and a seven-time synchronized championship medalist.
“She loves figure skating,” says Kelly, a member of the Club’s Board of Directors. “The combination of athleticism and artistry has always appealed to her. And when kids find their passion, it’s stunning how much work they are willing to put in to achieve their goal.”
That solid work ethic is only one of several life lessons she’s observed her daughter, and fellow skaters, develop through the pursuit of their dreams. Time management is now serving Elise particularly well in college, where she is pre-med and a collegiate skater. And perhaps the most important is one lesson that is indispensable at any age: how to fail. “Resilience is the big life lesson,” says Kelly. “Knowing how to overcome adversity is definitely a life skill Elise gained from being a figure skater. Figure skaters fall a lot. But you have to learn how to fall in order to practice getting back up.”
Kelly these days finds her own Club engagement stronger than ever. As a board member, she is inspired by the leadership of President Joseph Blount, who “unfailingly talks about what’s best for the kids and athletes as what’s best for the Club,” she said. “That guiding principle has always impressed me. What we as a family relied on – and where the Club is a leader in the sport – is the constancy of that mission.” As for the Club’s new home in Norwood, she admires how the new facility sustains and strengthens the Club’s legacy for excellence and thoughtful future planning.
Those same time-honored values that consider “the whole athlete” can be seen in a design that “promotes the safety and wellness of the kids, while also helping them meet the demands of the sport,” she says. “To me, that’s what it means to be truly world-class.”