Free ice skating camp for local youths

Unity Ice Academy is a local nonprofit organization with a mission to provide free access to and free coaching in the sport of ice skating to children in the inner city of Los Angeles. The company was founded by Ashleigh Ellis, a Black, former competitive ice skater based in Los Angeles.

Unity Ice Academy is hosting the annual ice skating summer camp at The Rinks Lakewood Ice from July 8- Aug. 2. The camp is free for all of its 65 participants who are between the ages of 5-13 years old. This summer is especially exciting because it is the first year that the camp will be directed by Starr Andrews, an Olympic hopeful and Los Angeles native.

She is the 2022 Skate Canada International silver medalist, the 2019 International Challenge Cup silver medalist, and the first black woman to win a medal at the U.S. Nationals in 35 years.

Ashleigh Ellis started Unity Ice Academy because of the extreme lack of diversity in ice skating due to the cost of the sport.

“I could never understand why no one at my ice skating rink looked like me growing up,” said Ashleigh. “I want to give back to my community by instilling the same life lessons I learned growing up as a black figure skater into the diverse group of children in the inner city of Los Angeles,” Ashleigh explained.

The camp will consist of learning how to ice skate from professional skaters, an off-ice character-building curriculum, fun field trips to local venues, and appearances from guest speakers like world champion figure skaters. The campers will also work toward putting on a recital for their family, friends, and the local community on Saturday, Aug. 3, at The Rinks-Lakewood Ice.

If you would like more information about Unity Ice Academy or its summer camp, please call Ashleigh Ellis at 310-560-1723 or email Also, visit the Unity Ice Academy website,

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