“I didn’t know you could do that here” is a common comment from people seeing speeding skating in Nova Scotia. The follow-up comment is then usually “speed skating is always my favourite sport to watch during the Winter Olympics”, or “I wish they had this when I was younger”.
This fall Speed Skate Nova Scotia is inviting everyone to try a club near them with a series of Open House events supported with Nova Scotia Gaming Support 4 Sport funding. Open house events will happen at:
· Annapolis Valley Speed Skating Club – September 16 – 2:00pm-4:00pm – Kentville Centennial Arena
- Colchester County Speed Skating Club – TBD – Truro
- Dartmouth Crossing Speed Skating Club – September 15 – 1:15pm-2:45pm – Dartmouth 4 Pad
- Halifax Regional Speed Skating Club – September 8 – 11:30am-1:00pm – St. Margaret’s Centre
- Northside Blades Speed Skating Club – TBD – North Sydney
- Nova Scotia Masters Speed Skating Club – Partnering with the Dartmouth Crossing Speed Skating Club
- Speedy Kids Oval Program – November 18 – 1:00pm-3:30pm – Dartmouth Sportsplex
“The theme for the Open House events is ‘you can do that here’ because we hear those comments so often” says Steve Raftery, board member with Speed Skate Nova Scotia. “Speed skating is not just something to cheer on every four years during the Olympics, it is something that can be enjoyed in Nova Scotia.”
Bert Losier of the Dartmouth Crossing Speed Skating Club hears those comments all the time too. He notes that “there have been clubs operating for over 40 years in Nova Scotia, they just aren’t in every arena like other ice sports for people to see all the time.” While only entering its third season, and second in the Dartmouth 4-Pad, the club has surpassed its membership goals with over 150 participants. Losier attributes the success to more people seeing speed skating as they move in and out of the 4-Pad for the other ice surfaces.
There was a time when speed skating could not be done in the Annapolis Valley. Not wanting to make the long drive into Halifax when her son showed an interest in speed skating, Dawn Noakes started asking questions. With support from provincial and regional sport and recreation agencies’ the Annapolis Valley Speed Skating Club began operating out of the Credit Union Centre in Kingston in the fall of 2012. Noakes finds the sport to be very accessible “clubs have a stock of skates to rent to everyone and coaches that offer programs for all ages whether skating for fun, fitness, or competition.”
Speed Skate Nova Scotia clubs invite the public to attend an open house in their area, skate a few laps in a pair of speed skates, and discover that ‘you can do that here’. Each club is hosting an open house event, and in some cases two, to highlight their programs.
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