What’s Winter without a little snow, right?
The PG Blizzard Skating Club certainly battled through its fair share of the snowy conditions Saturday at the Outdoor Ice Oval before it hosts a long track interclub meet next weekend.
PG Blizzard Coach, Corine Masich says the event will bring a big crowd from out of town. “We have skaters coming from across the province, from the Lower Mainland, Kamloops, and Fort St. John,” she said. “We have 81 registered skaters, we also have a long track program for adults and we’re hoping to see some beginner masters as well as two of our club masters Lyle Dickieson and Dave Connell who are training for world masters.”
Dickieson said it’s been a lot of fun training outside at the oval so far this season. “These days I’m not putting in the big hours I used to training, I’m kind of just cruising along, but get out here pretty much every day, do a few hard laps, try to practice the distances we’re racing so get out there and do a good hard 500 metres and cool down with a good five kilometre skate to wind down.”
The interclub meet welcomes skaters ages four years old and beyond. It’s a tune-up for the BC Long Track Championships in Dawson Creek on January 21st and 22nd. Meanwhile, many new face are joining the club. Sylvia Masich is a veteran skater training for Junior Nationals in Saskatoon, but spends some of her time being a role model for newcomers to the sport. “We’ve gotten lots of new skaters this year, we did this little thing called ‘Learn To Skate’ for 10 practices and we got lots of new kids there which was really fun to coach them and seeing them grow and skate from not being able to stand up to skating by themselves, which is awesome to see.”
For others, the sport is more of a family affair. Kari Rae has been skating alongside her two sons and daughter for the past six years. Rae says she’s very proud to be able to skate alongside loved ones. “They are all moving on to different levels, my oldest son is now skating in national level meets, my son Jack is now skating provincially, and my daughter is skating regionally, it’s a different level for each of them right now,” she said. “We have a fantastic club with a lot of abilities and a lot to do, we skate inside and we skate outside and it’s a real family feel in the club.”