Can Am, team suits, competitions and excellence


Hello speed skaters, family and friends!

Based on a conversation I just had with my good friends Lee and John Millar, I realize that it is time to write another blog post. What I will briefly talk about are competitions, the Can Am Camp, development and provincial teams and coaching highlights from Fast is Fun.

Every year in November the Calgary oval hosts a competition called the Can Am competition. Every year SASSA sends athletes 14 years old (we have taken younger) and up to skate for the week prior in Calgary and then to compete on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Last year we had around 20 people there. This year we are hoping to have 12 to 15 from all different clubs. Parents volunteer to provide all meals and the cost is very low. We stay in a hotel and skate twice a day. There are education sessions every day as well. Transportation is provided by individuals traveling from their clubs. It is not paid for this year.

The camp is coached by the provincial coach as well as two Oval coaches. This year those coaches are Arno Hoogveld and Jeff Kitura. If you are interested in coming and being part of the fun, whether you are an adult or a skater, please call Tim at 306-221-2971. This is a great way for people to move from a pretty good club skater to a very good provincial or regional skater. Much of what is to be learned from attending is to watch the habits of better skaters.

Competitions are one of the best ways that we have to build our community within the sport. I think attending the right competitions at the right time develops our skaters and our community. I have sent a competition calendar to the coaching coordinators in each club. Here is the link to the competition calendar for you to have a look at. I believe clubs should meet with parents and discuss which meets skaters should go to.  Your club coach is the best one to lead this. Again, nothing like going to a meet together to build comraderie and community within your club and within our province.

You may have noticed some skaters within the province have a special racing suit for either short track or long track with "development team" down the leg. The same suit for the provincial team has no markings down the leg. I think it is important for people to understand how those suits can be earned. If you don't know or don't ask it can create divisions rather than creating incentives. The high-performance bulletin is available on our website under the provincial coach tab with the criteria clearly written.

To qualify for the development team you must be in the top four male or female Train to Train skaters in long or short track and be within 115% of Saskatchewan train to train records. Skaters qualifying for the development team will get a small amount of financial support and will be eligible to purchase their own racing suit. At the moment our development and provincial team is made up of the skaters below:

Dev ST
Rowan Jordan Hunter Joshua
Vanessa Brianne Jane Makenna

Dev LT
Caleb, Rowan, Matthew, Marc Andre
Vanessa, Brianne, Makenna, Meela, Ceili

Prov ST
Marco, Lukas, Graeme, Alex
Olivia, Rachel, Sarah, Jessica

Prov LT
Lukas, Graeme, Seth, Marco
Juliette, Gabby, Olivia, Lindsay

The provincial team is made up of a possible 16 skaters who have the time standards to qualify for national competitions as released in the Speed Skating Canada bulletins. These skaters will get a larger amount of financial support and the right to purchase their own racing suit. Please feel free to phone or email me if you have questions. Your club coaches should be able to direct you to the HP bulletin on the website.

Lastly, we had the privilege of being able to support Eric Bedard's attendance at Fast is Fun in Warman this year. Eric had an amazing talent for teaching skating technique and lots of great information about other topics such as skates. A question I have been asking our coaches is, "How do we make sure every club and every coach, whether they attended that camp or not, benefit from what he taught and how he taught it?"

I would be more than happy to come to your club and pass on the information he had. Another way of doing this is for the coaches that attended to give information sessions for parents and coaches. One of our five pillars is excellence and I believe we need to capitalize on Eric's excellent teaching by communicating with our coaches, skaters and parents. Please let me know if you would like me to visit your club to help to pass on the great information that he had.

Don't miss the webinar on club growth Oct. 14 at 6:00 pm. (excellence, fun, community, inspiring events, exposure, building character)

Looking forward to seeing you all in Warman the Halloween weekend!



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