Jenna Efford is bound for Quebec

Bareneed skater will train under Josée Picard.

Nicholas Mercer
Published on March 6, 2014
Bareneed's Jenna Efford is headed to Quebec to further her figure skating career.
Photo by Nicholas Mercer/The Compass

Bareneed’s Jenna Efford will soon have another thing in common with Canadian Olympian Kaetlyn Osmond.

Besides being figure skating Newfoundlanders, starting in June, Jenna and Osmond will both have studied under famed coach Josée Picard.

The 12-year-old Amalgamated Academy student has been accepted into Quebec’s Sports Study Program of Excellence and will be moving to Chambly, Quebec once the school year has finished.

That’s the future, but now Jenna is getting set to skate in the 2014 NL Winter Games on March 7. The figure skating portion is being held at the Trinity Placentia Stadium in Whitbourne.

Here she will be competing against the best her home province has to offer, but in a few months, Jenna will be getting world-class instruction.

Picard is known for instructing some of the finest skaters Canada has ever produced, including Shae-Lynn Bourne and Victor Kraatz.

“I’m excited to move up, and the experience, as well as get better at skating,” said Jenna.

But, she will not be going alone. Mother Joanne, father John and her brother, also named John, will be making the move the La Belle Province with her.

It is a big move for the family said Joanne.

“I’m trying to get everything coordinated now,” she said. “I’m trying to get all of the ends tied up now.”

There is sure to be an adjustment period for the entire Efford family, but its one Jenna is going to meet head on.

“It’s going to be difficult getting into it, but I’ll get into it fast,” she said.


More free time

When Jenna makes the move to Quebec it will, believe it or not, give her more free time.

She will be going to school from 8 a.m.-Noon before doing on-ice training from 1 p.m.-5 p.m.

This is a stark contrast from her current schedule.

Jenna skates two-and-a-half hours a day, seven days-a-week to go along with off-ice training four days-a-week, and dance classes three days-a-week in St. John's. Sometimes, Jenna makes two trips a day to the capital city.

“It’s out of control,” said Joanne.

It is this schedule that prompted the family to downgrade from a sports-utility vehicle down to a more efficient car.

“Our gas bill was over the top,” said Joanne.

When Jenna moves to Quebec, she will have nights and weekends to herself.

“She can have a normal supper and prepare for school the next day,” said Joanne.

“Now, I’ll have time to go home and sleep,” added Jenna.


Coaches’ thoughts

Neil Thorne and Lori Brett have been coaching Jenna for the past four years. In that time, the pair has seen Jenna move from a girl into a young woman.

“She is an extremely hard worker, no doubt about that,” said Brett. “She utilizes her time to the max. Every time she goes out there, she loves to compete.”

“She’s a great performer as well,” added Thorne.

Brett and Thorne were the coaches who recommended that Jenna make the jump to the Mount Pearl Figure Skating Club from the Conception Bay North club when Jenna was eight.

“From a young age, she has definitely showed the desire and the passion for skating, also she shows a lot of potential,” said Brett. “She did have something a little special.”

Like any skater, Jenna’s dream is to one day represent her country in the Olympic Winter Games.

“I really want to go up there and learn more, and try for the Olympics,” she said.

When asked how her French was, Jenna smiled and offered a short response.

“It’s not bad,” she laughed.