There’s a new club in town — and don’t be surprised if its members are flying past you in a speedy blaze of glory some time soon.
The Williams Lake Speed Skating Club, formed earlier this summer, is hosting a free session tomorrow, Jan. 4, at the Cariboo Memorial Complex for anyone interested in trying out the sport, and to kick off its new session.
Yvonne Hauk, who organized the club in September, said the WLSSC is already up to 24 skaters.
“We started in October and those kids are going to carry on into the first week of March,” Hauk said. “We’ve decided to have a second session that starts Jan. 4 for anyone who wants to join.”
Following Wednesday’s free session the cost is $75 to continue with the club until March.
The WLSSC practices every Wednesday from 3:15 to 4:15 p.m.
“So far the kids seem to love it,” she said. “All the parents say they seem to be having a great time and that they’re excited to come back and do it again so it’s going really well.”
Currently there are groups for four- to six-year olds, seven- and eight-year olds and nine- to 12-year olds.
Additionally, Hauk said the club will pick up skaters from the bus stop at Marie Sharpe so they can attend practice after school.
“We’re also hosting our own mini meets once a month where we time the kids and they keep track of their times from month to month so they’re trying to improve,” she said. “We’ve started the process of getting them to set goals but it’s also about their personal improvement.”
The club’s next mini meet will be on Jan. 25. And by then, Hauk hopes to have some of the kids on actual speed skates.
“So far we’ve just been using hockey skates,” she said, but noted the club was sent a much appreciated Christmas present from Canadian speed skater Denny Morrison’s dad, who is involved with the Fort St. John speed skating club.
“He was going through all [Denny’s] old skates and equipment and they’ve sent it to us.”
So far the club has had a few parents volunteer to help coach, along with Olga Slavik — who has past speed skating experience — but Hauk said the club is still looking for a coach or coaches who have speed skating backgrounds.
“As much as all the parents are trying to help it would be really nice to have someone else with experience,” she said.
Moving forward Hauk said the next step is becoming a member of the B.C. Speed Skating Association.
“That’s our next step,” she said. “To move forward and get more resources and help from some of the other clubs in B.C. we have to be a member.”
For more information on the WLSSC contact Hauk at 250-398-2354 or e-mail her at email@example.com.