All short track training canceled today.
- 022020-01-02http://edmontonspeedskating.ca/event/essa-junior-cup/Meet Announcement:New Year 2020 Junior and Almost Junior Short Track MeetJanuary 2, 2020 (Yes, it is a Thursday.)Clareview Arena, Edmonton1pm – 7:30pm (includes a post-race pizza party)FEMALES: Junior C1 (T2T13) through NeoSenior 1MALES: Junior C2 (T2T14) through NeoSenior 1Registration deadline is December 27th.Registration is going online, but paper registration will also be accepted until it is live. The form is part of the race announcement.Address questions to Diane Anderson (email@example.com)Please see below for the reasons why this type of event is being hosted by ESSA (written very well by our president, Chris Padbury).At the 2019 Alberta Amateur Speed Skating Association (AASSA) AGM one of the significant concerns raised was the lack of competition opportunities once children age out of the T2T age group. Whilst there is some opportunity at the Olympic Oval in Calgary (Single Distance Series, Western Elite Circuit), those events come with minimum time standards, and have goals that are not necessarily inclusive of all skaters. This is not a bad thing. We obviously need those events to continue to develop elite athletes in western Canada.However, there is a concern for those skaters that may not want to (or are not yet ready to) compete at that level, but find themselves in their mid teens with nowhere left to compete in a sport they still enjoy. These athletes include:
Some of our regional events often have an open class, but these are generally sparsely attended and many times only by skaters local to those events. The open class event can also feel a bit “tacked-on” to the Ability and/or T2T qualifier meet. I feel there is a need for events specifically for these athletes, where the racing is about them.As a first step to “fill the gap” for these athletes, the Edmonton Speed Skating Association is hosting an event specifically geared towards junior/neo-senior athletes. This event is open to the following athletes. Everyone is welcome from first time racers to elite athletes.FEMALES: Junior C1 (T2T13) through NeoSenior 1MALES: Junior C2 (T2T14) through NeoSenior 1Why are Junior C1 (T2T13) males not included?It is our belief that there is still ample opportunity for these athletes outside of an event like this.Event Details:Thursday January 2, 1:00 PM – 7:30 PMClareview A Arena (International Size Ice Surface)Edmonton, ABAll races will be on the 111m track. The number of races (minimum 4, some combination of 500, 1000m, 1500m) will depend on the number of registrants. Having never tried this before, we are currently exactly unsure how popular this event will be.Manual timingPizza party for athletes after racingWhy is this on a Thursday?As you all know, ice time throughout the country is at a premium. Because ESSA’s decision to host this event came after the special event deadline for booking ice through the City of Edmonton, we had to look for alternative open blocks. We chose this date because most kids are still out of school, and many people already will take Jan 2-3 as vacation. If the event proves successful, ESSA will try for a weekend date in future seasons and perhaps for a longer time block. We know the Jan 2 date will not work for everyone, but we felt it was important to host this event this season even if the date was not optimal.What else should we know?ESSA will be asking everyone who attends to volunteer in some way. Adding this event to our schedule means ESSA is hosting 4 racing events in total. That is a lot to ask of our relatively small volunteer base. As such, we would mostly like to lean on the families attending as a means to put on this event. ESSA is running this as a break-even event (no expected profit for the club).What is the long term outlook?That is up to the speed skating community as a whole. If this event is successful, ESSA will be back with it next season. But one event per season will probably not be enough to keep these athletes in the sport. As such, I would implore anyone who thinks this is important to look into hosting similar events of their own. Even 3-4 events in AB/SK would make a significant difference to what we have today.Remember that many of these athletes become our coaches, officials, volunteers, and eventually parents of a new generation of speed skaters. It is in our best interest to keep them active and happy in the sport as long as possible.
- Existing skaters that like to skate and race on a more recreational level with a primary objective of having fun and staying fit
- Existing skaters that still participate in multiple sports and may use speed skating as a secondary training ground
- Athletes transitioning from other skating sports (hockey, ringette, figure skating) that may already be past the T2T age
- Athletes from communities far from Calgary, that cannot justify a long trip for a morning of skating
Thank you for your time, and I hope to see many of your athletes in Edmonton in the New Year!
All short track training canceled today.