This past week was an exciting one for Velocity skaters, as both our Beginner and Intermediate groups began their participation in the Canadian Youth Challenge organized by Speed Skating Canada and the I Skate Fast! challenge organized by the Federation de Patinage de Vitesse du Quebec.
For the Canadian Youth Challenge, skaters participated in the 2-Lap Individual Time Trial, where skaters start from a standing start and sprint as fast as they can for 2 laps. For the I Skate Fast! Challenge, skaters participated in the 3 flying laps event, in which skaters get a rolling start to get up to speed before sprinting for 3 laps. Each skater is given two attempts to put in their fastest time.
For some of our skaters this was their first exposure to a competition format, and they made the most of it! Many of our skaters saw their times drop in some cases by almost 2 seconds between attempts. Those that were able to participate on Wednesday’s practice saw even more improvement. The results from those days are posted below.
Those who are age eligible will have their results submitted to Speed Skating Canada and to the Federation de Patinage de Vitesse du Quebec and we are proud that they will represent our Velocity team amongst skaters from across Canada.
Tonight’s practice will continue with the 1 flying lap and the 400m and 500m time trials. We are looking forward another night of fun and to more strong performances from all our skaters!
We have received confirmation from BCSSA that our High Performance skaters (currently skating at the Richmond Oval) will be allowed to skate at the Vancouver Speed Skating Club's practices once their Richmond Oval training ends on March 18th, 2021.
This means is that Charlotte, Adam, Wilfred, and Simon will be able to attend the Vancouver Speed Skating club's last three practices of this season, March 21st, 24th, and 28th.
Last December, Adam Mong, Charlotte Sernoski, Wilfred Chan, and Simon Mikulash had to chose one venue as their "home club", due to BC SSA COVID regulations. Since then, they haven't been able to skate, or coach, with the other VSSC members. We recently reached out to them and their coaches, to see how they are faring during this challenging season.
From the Oval HP coaches:"All VSSC skaters have shown incredible amounts of resilience and adaptability despite COVID restrictions and other major changes in the program. At the beginning of the season, VSSC skaters completed over 140 online training hours! This did not include the hours the athletes put in for solo training or in-person training once the facility reopened in August. Online training sessions included online circuit/dryland training, mental performance, yoga, baking sessions, racing analysis and intro to journaling. New sessions introduced to the athletes this year were Mental Performance training with Matt Fisher and Yoga sessions with Madeline Martin. Focus this year was technique, team unity, coach/athlete feedback and mental wellbeing.
OvalHP coaches and support staff are very proud of the work the VSSC athletes have done this season! Everyone truly went above and beyond! Great work!"
Watch a pre-skate warmup and a snippet of a practice.
Coach Nicole on Adam Mong:
"Adam has shown a great deal of strength and improvement in the weight room with Jackson this year! In his final year of high school, Adam has shown growth in the way he prioritizes school, sport and extra curricular activities."
Adam states, "Training at the oval has been a good opportunity to train with other high-performing skaters and have more training opportunities on and off the ice. I look forward to returning back to the club and seeing the vast improvements that everyone has made."
Here's Adam at an S&C session and clips of him skating, showing an awesome start, and skating in a very tight circle.
Coach Nicole on Charlotte Sernoski:
"Charlotte overcame a huge a setback this winter with her health and learned a lot about the importance of school/sport balance and rest and recovery. She was able to utilize the tools she learned through our mental performance sessions with Matt as well as the sessions with BCSSA’s Scott and Andrei to help her through these difficult times."
Charlotte has this to say to the Skaters at the Vancouver Club: “I really miss coaching you guys and am super busy at the Oval, training hard with the other skaters. Hopefully you guys will be able to train at the Oval sometime soon! I look forward to seeing you in September at Kits Rink"
Charlotte shows how to be COVID safe on the ice, lift weights, and skates like the wind in this clip.
Coach Nicole on Wilfred Chan:
"Wilfred experienced a few setbacks this year with injuries but is still skating impressively fast! One thing that has stuck out to me is Wilfred’s openness to experimenting with his equipment, program and technique."
Wilfred adds, "Other than injuries, everything is going as planned. OVAL Hp programs provides way more hours than the training in VSSC. Though techniques and tips from both coach Adam and coach Nicole [are] always needed."
See Wilfred lift weights and show great skating form in this clip.
Coach Nicole on Simon Mikulash:
"Simon sprained his ankle this year after a fall on ice this winter. He was able to make a very solid comeback with his training making improvements in his technique and strength on ice over the past few weeks!"
Simon misses skating at the VSSC arena; in his words, "I miss all of you back at the club, I’ll be sure to come out to practise and show you all how much I’ve improved as soon as these restrictions lift. I really miss practising in Vancouver an[d] I especially miss coaching [G]roup 1. We are nearing the end of the season so don’t forget to bend your knees and stay in good basic position for the last few practises! I miss you all very much!"
Here's a clip of Simon skating and another racing in slo-mo!
We'd like to thank Adam, Charlotte, Wilfred, and Simon for their contributions to this update. And we especially extend our gratitude to Coach Nicole and Coach Jackson not only for the care and attention they continue to provide our skaters, but also for sending us their insights about how they've been faring at the Oval High Performance training sessions.
On February 24th, 2021, we were informed that the BC Speed Skating Association awarded our club with a COVID Relief Grant in the amount of $3000. This is wonderful news, and will help us towards upgrading our safety mats and replacing old skates and other equipment.
On behalf of our membership, our Board is extending a big thank you to the BC SSA.
Click here for more information on the BC Speed Skating Association.