Speed Skate PEI offers a variety of youth programs for ages 4+, as well as adult programs. Descriptions of each of our programs can be found under the tabs shown below. The various programs are designed to match the needs of each skater, whether their goals are recreational or competitive. Our coaching staff has the responsibility to ensure that skaters are in the appropriate group. Assignment to groups is based on a consideration of age, skating ability (including both technique and speed), goals of the skater and their parents, maturity (physical, athletic, and emotional), family requirements, peer groups and friends, and social development as they pertain to the safety of the individual skater, the safety of the other skaters on the ice at the same time and the development of the skating group and Club as a whole. Safety and skater development are our top concerns.
At registration time, skaters should select the program that they feel most closely matches their goals and skating skills, with the assistance of our coaches. Once the skaters are on the ice, we will assess their fit in a particular group. The coaching staff continually evaluates the skaters to determine if they are in the correct group and program, making changes during the year as required to meet the needs of the skaters. Any changes will be discussed with the skater and their parents prior to making any moves. Ages referred to below are as of June 30th prior to the season and are suggested age ranges for each program.
The descriptions of requirements for a specific program are guidelines only, as many factors are considered. For example, a skater may have a speed that would suggest they were appropriate for a particular level, but the skater may require additional technical guidance that is best delivered in another program. Alternatively, we may be forced to advance a skater who still requires technical development because their speed creates a safety concern in a program. The guidelines are reviewed on a regular basis and may change from year to year depending on the profile of the Club. When in doubt, please consult with our coaches.
There is a tendency for skaters and parents to want advancement through the programs at a rate that is not to the benefit of the individual skaters. Every skater develops at their own rate and we try to recognize this throughout the program.
New skaters under 8 should start in the Learn to Skate Program. Experienced skaters who are 8 – 10 but new to the sport of speed skating should start in the Learn to Speed Skate Program. Accomplished skaters over ten will usually start in the Intermediate Speed Skating Program.
Long Track: While facilities dictate that Speed Skate PEI is primarily focused on Short Track programs, the Club will provide opportunities for long track skating when available and possible. The Atlantic Long Track Program in Halifax regularly hosts camps and events which are open to all Atlantic skaters and are regularly attended by PEI skaters.
Special Olympics: Special Olympic skaters participate in the regular programs based on their skill level and taking into account their age.
Learn to Skate:
The Learn to Skate Program is aimed at skaters 4 to 8 years old who are just learning to skate or who want to improve their basic skating skills. Some will take their first steps on the ice with us, while others are already mobile and ready for more skill development. The goal is to provide children with a fun and entertaining environment in which to learn skating skills that can be used in any skating sport. Many go on to hockey, ringette and figure skating, as well as to speed skating. We use lots of games and fun. If they don’t enjoy being on the ice, they won’t come back. We also give these young skaters a couple of opportunities to test their speed during the year at our Fun Meets. Skaters in the Learn to Skate Program wear hockey skates. Please, no figure skates. Skaters may be moved to a more advanced group after enrolment or during the year if the coaching staff feels it is appropriate, but only with parents’ agreement. Learn to skate participants must be able to stand alone, fall, get up and move around on their skates, or a parent or friend (with skates and helmet) must come on the ice with the skater until they are able to do so.
1 session/week (Saturday, 9:15 – 10:00 am (Cody Banks Arena) OR Monday, 4:20 – 5:05 pm (Eastlink Centre)
Maximum registration: 30 skaters per group.
Learn to Speed Skate:
The Learn to Speed Skate Program is aimed at skaters who have basic skating skills but want to improve their skills and learn the sport of speed skating. Skaters 7 years and up who have attained the appropriate skill level may participate in this program. Skaters may use hockey skates in Learn to Speed Skate, but it is recommended that they use long blades. We recommend that Learn to Speed Skate skaters participate in Club Fun Meets, the Atlantic Cup in Charlottetown, and, if they desire, off-Island meets. Parents should speak with the coach before registering for off-Island meets to determine if the meet is appropriate and to ensure that appropriate coaching arrangements can be made.
1 hour/week (Monday, 5:15 – 6:15 pm)
Maximum registration: 30 skaters
Intermediate Speed Skating (9 years and up):
The Intermediate Speed Skating program starts to introduce more of the competitive aspects of speed skating, such as passing and tactics, and aims to refine the basic speed skating skills of less experienced skaters. Skaters should be 9 years of age, be able to skate cross-overs on the corners, stop effectively, understand track safety, and be able to skate the 400 M in under 1:20 (or have the permission of the coach). Skaters in this group must be on long blades. The more advanced skaters in the Intermediate group will normally skate the 400m in under 1:00 and will continue to refine their technical skills and develop racing strategies. If they wish, Intermediate skaters may participate in dryland training programs when offered. Skaters in this group are eligible to participate in all meets. Skaters should be at practices at least 30 minutes beforehand for an off-ice warm-up, unless otherwise specified by the coaching staff.
3 sessions/week (Tuesday, 6:15-7:15 pm; Thursday, 5:15-6:15 pm; Saturday, 2:30 – 3:30 pm)
Maximum registration: 25 skaters
Advanced Speed Skating (12 years and up):
The Advanced group program is a more intensive program for older skaters. All skaters must have the permission of the coaching staff to participate. The general principles described in the introduction apply to decisions regarding participation in the Advanced Speed Skating Program. Advancement of skaters to and through programs before they have developed sufficient technical skills can impede the development of the skaters and create unsafe situations. Given the higher speeds in the Advanced group practices, safety is a particular concern. The profile of the registered skaters may result in changes to the requirements or time standards for advancement from year to year. Skaters wishing to participate in this program are expected to be interested in competition, committed to training, and have the technical skills, the speed and maturity (social, emotional, and athletic) to safely participate in the practices and enjoy the extra work-load associated with these practices.
As with all decisions regarding advancement to and through Speed Skate PEI programs, consideration is given to peer groups, friends, and social development, while also considering the needs for a safe group training environment and other group needs. Skaters or parents with questions regarding assignment to various groups should contact the applicable coach.
In general, skaters must be twelve to participate in this group and skate the 500m in under 1:00 (400m < 50 seconds) (re-evaluated each year depending on the numbers and skill profile of skaters in the group). All skaters in this group must understand and respect all aspects of track safety. Skaters must be able to skate safely and effectively in a group on the track. Skaters in this group will practice three times a week on ice, for a total of four hours. Dryland training sessions are usually also offered. Skaters in the Advanced group are eligible to participate in all meets that the Club attends. Skaters may be required to be at practices up to 60 minutes beforehand for an off-ice warm-up and dryland training, unless otherwise specified by the coaching staff.
4 hours ice time /week (Tuesday, 7:30-8:30 pm; Thursday, 6:30-8:00 pm; Saturday, 12:45 – 2:15 pm)
Maximum registration: 25 skaters
The Adult group caters to a variety of skaters of different ages, levels of ability and interest. Some Adult group participants are parents of young skaters who want to learn more about the sport first-hand, while others are looking for fitness and exercise with a welcoming group. Practices are a mix of technical instruction, agility drills and lap skating. Many participants enjoy the group solely for recreational and fitness purposes, while others choose to compete in our club meets and even regional meets with other adult skaters. For serious competitive Masters skaters, this group will usually serve as a starting point before they choose to join either our Intermediate or Advanced Speed Skating group.
Monday, 7:45 – 8:45 pm
Maximum registration: 25 skaters
In addition to its Club programs, as the provincial sport organization, Speed Skate PEI also runs the Canada Games program. This program is in addition to the Club programs described above. It is only open to skaters of Canada Games age and, in the two years preceding the games, to those who are registered for the Canada Games Training Team.
The Canada Games Training Program is supported by funds provided by the provincial government, the skaters who participate in the program, and fund-raising. Please refer to the Canada Games page of this website for more details.
Recreational: (13+ yrs)
Speed Skate PEI recognizes that some skaters like to skate but are not interested in competing. We offer recreational skating opportunities for skaters 13 years of age and up within our other skating groups based on the recreational skater’s age and ability. These recreational skaters will be registered with Speed Skating Canada as “participant” skaters and will not be eligible to participate in off-Island meets. They may participate in local Club events. All recreational skaters must use long blades and have full protective equipment.
Skaters who wish to register in the recreational program will receive two hours of ice time per week, with times and group(s) to be determined by the coaching staff in consultation with the skater / parents.