Wondering why you should consider speed skating for your family? Here are a few reasons why we think it is special:
Do you know families with two or three kids playing another sport, but always travelling in separate directions? Maybe you are one of those families? Ever wish that all of your kids could be at the same competitions or events together?
In speed skating, that’s exactly how it works. All ages and genders typically compete at the same meets. Races are grouped by skater ability, but the ages and genders are mixed and the whole family is at the same rink and part of the same event. No separate travel, or arranging drives for different members of the family!
Many speed skating families say that their family weekends together at competitions is one of their favourite aspects of the sport.
For practices, not everyone ends up in the same group, but with male and female skaters and varying ages practicing together, siblings of similar ability levels (regardless of age or gender) can often end up with the same practice group as well.
Culture of Collaboration and Respect
On the ice during meets, the competition is always lively. But before and after racing and throughout the season, skaters, coaches, officials and parents from different clubs interact closely and often. For example:
- skaters from different clubs and provinces share the same dressing rooms at competitions
- coaches from different clubs and provinces routinely assist the other coaches and even coach skaters from other provinces or clubs at meets
- if skaters are travelling and have their skating gear along, other clubs (even in different regions or provinces) will often welcome visitors on the ice for their practices
- volunteers routinely help out with meets held by other clubs or provinces
- older athletes mentor younger athletes and can often be found cheering for younger kids in between their own races. The younger kids are often thrilled to have the top skaters in their club helping them out and spending time with them. Meanwhile, the senior skaters develop their own leadership and mentoring skills.
- families from different provinces and clubs often host or entertain each other at meets and camps
- respect among coaches, officials and athletes is the widely prevailing norm at all times
Overall, it adds up to some special friendships and bonds across the sport. Athletes, parents and coaches often become good friends with not only their own teammates, but inevitably with their peers from other clubs and regions.
For competitions, athletes and their families are the decision makers about which events to attend. So, everyone can participate to the level that suits their own schedule and wishes. The club may have skaters at each competition, but the skaters often vary, so the team atmosphere stays fresh and the circle of friends widens a bit every time!
What’s more – in speed skating, nobody gets left on the bench. Everyone gets the same opportunity to participate, and there are no “playing time allocation” decisions to be made by coaches.
Speed skating offers a wonderful blend of individual and team elements that are well suited to many different types of athletes and families. To give it a try and find out for yourself, check out our Skating Programs page to find out which program is right for you!