There’s a new kid in town. Ok – officially not until Saturday and the town is my town of Toronto. I spoke with Richmond Training Center Director and veteran coach Bob Emerson, who confirmed that Tomas Verner of the Czech Republic will become Bob’s newest student.
How did this happen? Bob said: “I understood that he was trying out several facilities around North America this summer and he popped by ours. He asked for some lessons and we worked together and then he moved on to someplace else. About three weeks ago I got a call from him asking if I would be his coach.” He says that at a different time, he probably would not have considered it. As it was, he says: “I think it is an honour to have him ask.”
Bob feels that especially with the short notice ahead of the skating season that this is going to be a challenge for both of them, but he feels they are each up to the challenge. Tomas is slated to compete at the China and Russia Grand Prix events and the first task will be to get him on a training schedule and to see how it goes for the next couple of weeks. Bob is not planning any major changes at this point and is going to allow things to unfold for a bit in the interests of time. In the works is a possible trip to choreographer Pasquale Camerlengo to tweak the programs he created for Tomas. The goal for the season at this point are to help Tomas skate consistent programs and to build up his cardio during on and off-ice training.

With the possibilities of travel how will the school manage? Bob says: “It will be non problem at all. I work with some very good people and when I am not there, the school will be in very good hands.”

What were his first impressions of the 2008 European Champion? “He is an outstanding young man. The other word I would use is intelligent and he is extremely good to deal with.” Bob says that he is impressed by his degree of commitment coming into the season. Bob says: “If I hadn’t felt that connection when we worked together in the summer, I am sure at this stage of my career, I wouldn’t have gotten involved.”
The Grand Prix events are about 5 weeks away. Both men have their work cut out for them and couldn’t be looking more forward to getting started.

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