The 2012-13 speed skating season is proving to be a fast one for the Richmond Rockets Speed Skating Club.
The season is at the midway mark and many of the club's skaters are posting personal best times in short-track racing. Last weekend, 10 Rockets participated in the Burnaby Haida Speed Skating Club's annual race.
Six-year-old Zakary Sharp skated to first place in all of his races. The Burnaby event was the third competitive race for this young skater. Sharp exclaimed, "It was really fun. Speed skating is my favourite sport."
Justin Russell, 16, has been having a great season. He's in the club's High Performance Development Program.
"It was great getting back on the ice after the holiday break. My racing is progressing well. I'm really looking forward to Calgary's national qualifying race in February," Russell said.
The Rockets are coached by Chris Action - a former national speed skating team member who was named B.C. Speed Skating Association's coach of the year in 2009-10.
"I'm seeing our skaters' hard training really paying off. Their technique is continuing to improve and it's helping them set faster times," remarked Acton.
For the first time, the Rockets will host a short track speed skating race March 16 at the Richmond Olympic Oval. Spectators can expect to see skaters from Metro Vancouver and Vancouver Island participating. This fun FUNale is a year-end event that gives skaters one more chance to race before the season ends.
It's a great opportunity for local spectators to watch short track speed skating in a world class facility.
The Rockets feature over 30 members from throughout the Lower Mainland, ranging in age from five to over 60. They offer a unique opportunity for skaters of all abilities to learn and excel in an exciting sport that provides life-long benefits: sportsmanship, commitment to excellence, community involvement and healthy living.
For those athletes who strive to be high performance short track speed skaters, the Rockets have an elite training program to take their provincial competitors to the national and international level. The coaching line-up includes former Polish national long track speed skating team member Maria Malewska-Majblat.
The club offers a free introductory class. They also have a six-lesson Learn to Skate session for those wanting a bigger taste of the speed skating experience. For more information visit their Richmond Rockets Speed Skating Club website - richmondrockets.org or contact email@example.com