Skaters excited for Alberta Winter Games experience

  • Feb. 5, 2014 5:54 p.m.

The immediate future for several skaters in the Central Lions Speed Skating Club is the races at the Alberta Winter Games in Canmore this coming weekend.

For a handful of the group it will be their first taste of competition at this level but for a few others they’ve been down this track and are looking for more.

“I went last year and I was pretty excited and now that I know what it’s like I’m way more pumped this year and I’m just ready to race,” said 15-year-old Tess Pearman who has been racing for nine years.

Her teammate, Bryndelle MacDougall, who has been skating for four years, was at the games two years ago and had a different experience than what she might get from this year’s edition of the games.

“I was a bit of a newbie so I was just going for the fun, learning and meeting new people,” she said.

These games can also work as a springboard for some of the members a little ways down the track explained Head Coach Shawna Pearman.

“For some of them they will for sure be shooting for going to the Canada West championships or the Canadian long track championships,” she said. “Down the road, next year is the 2015 Canada Winter Games. There certainly are a couple of kids on this team that could qualify for those events as well as shooting for our provincial team.”

These games will have a bit of a twist to them as they will not be long track skating but instead short track due to the flooding in the area during this past June.

“It’s a first. We’re on an outdoor pond. We’ve never had short track outside, we’ve always had it in an arena but due to circumstances they couldn’t accommodate short track speed skating with the number of arenas that are required,” said Shawna. “We’ve never done it before so it will be interesting. I’m excited and I think the kids will be excited because it’s an unique experience.”

She added being outdoors for the short track races which ranges from 200m to 3,000m will be a first but the team does some training outside already so making an adjustment to the weather shouldn’t be a problem.

With 15 skaters ranging in age from 11 to 17 the coach feels there is a good chance they will return from the games with some medals as the club is a very strong one but the medals aren’t the focus at the games from her perspective.

“Best performances is what’s really important for us, that the kids go out and perform to their best,” she said.

So while skaters like Tess and MacDougall have some experience under their belts, others are headed into this with eyes wide open so the pair are passing along their sage advice.

“Just mostly have fun and don’t be nervous when you’re out there,” said Tess. “And just make friends there so when you’re on the ice you’re just skating but when you’re off the ice you have friends to be with.”

MacDougall had a slightly different take on how to handle the games for the first time.

“It’s very overwhelming,” she said. “All the different sports are there, not just us so I feel they really just need to realize it’s just another meet and just go for the fun.”

Just Posted

Red Deer’s newest outdoor ice facility opens to the public this week

The speed skating oval at Setters Place at Great Chief Park will be open Dec. 17th

Yellow Vests protestors take to Red Deer streets

Trudeau government’s immigration and oil industry policies denounced at rally

Rebels lose to Medicine Hat Tigers, 4-1

Tigers break Rebels’ three-game winning streak

Exhibition explores the rich history and culture of Métis people

The exhibition is on display from Dec. 15th to March 10th at the Red Deer Museum + Art Gallery

2019 Hockey Alberta Provincial Championship host sites announced

A total of 39 Provincial Championships will be hosted across the province

Trudeau to make it harder for future PM to reverse Senate reforms

Of the 105 current senators, 54 are now independents who have banded together in Independent Senators’ Group

Trudeau lashes out at Conservatives over migration “misinformation”

Warning against the “dangers of populism,” Trudeau says using immigration as a wedge political issue puts Canada’s future at risk.

B.C. hockey coach creates ‘gear library’ to remove cost barrier of sport

Todd Hickling gathered donations and used gear to remove the cost barrier for kids to play hockey.

Canada’s ambassador meets with second detainee in China

Global Affairs says John McCallum, Canada’s ambassador to China, met with Spavor Sunday

‘They’re coming:’ Flying cars may appear in urban skies by 2023

Air taxis will number 15,000 and become a global market worth $32 billion by 2035

World Sikh Organization demands Canada prove Sikh extremism is a threat

Sikh community says this is first time such extremism has been mentioned in federal terror-threat assessment

Light at the end of the tunnel for UN climate talks

Meeting in Katowice was meant to finalize how countries report their emissions of greenhouses gases

Supreme Court affirms privacy rights for Canadians who share a computer

Section 8 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects Canadians against unreasonable search and seizure

Janet Jackson, Def Leppard, Nicks join Rock Hall of Fame

Radiohead, the Cure, Roxy Music and the Zombies will also be ushered in at the 34th induction ceremony

Most Read