CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – The coming season holds special significance for some P.E.I. speedskaters with the Canada Games only five months away.
The season begins later this month and several Islanders could lace up the skates for Team P.E.I. at the Games slated for Feb. 13-March 3 in Red Deer, Alta.
P.E.I. coach Sarah Taylor said the group has been training and preparing for months for the chance to represent the province.
“The time and dedication it takes to be competitive at this level is significant,” said Taylor, who’ll coach the short track contingent in Red Deer. “These young athletes are learning about commitment, discipline and time management, all of which will serve them well throughout their lives (and) not only in sport.”
In February, P.E.I. fields male and female short track and long track teams at the Games for the first time. P.E.I. has sent female and male short track squads to the Games since 1995, but it only entered male long track teams in 1995 and 2007. Carolyn Jarock is the long track coach.
For Andrew Jack, Speed Skate P.E.I. vice-president, the full slate of skaters in both disciplines shows real progress and opens the door to more.
“With the 2023 Canada Winter Games expected to be held on P.E.I., this chance to showcase long track as another opportunity for young P.E.I. skaters is exciting for us,” said Jack. “We think we’ve got a lot of potential for further growth in our sport here over the next few years leading up to 2023.”
Speed Skate P.E.I. is taking registrations for its Charlottetown programs, including Learn to Skate and Learn to Speed Skate, at www.speedskatepei.com.