Sisters share passion for speed skating skill

Alyssa Skaalid continues to make a name for herself on the speed skating circuit.

Nationally ranked short track speed skater Alyssa Skaalid gives her twin sister Anna some pointers during a Salmon Arm Ice Breakers skating weekly practice held on the ice at the Shaw Centre.

Alyssa Skaalid continues to make a name for herself on the speed skating circuit.

She placed second overall in the Junior division (16 to 19 years old) in Prince George on Nov. 17-18.

Despite a collision in the 1,000-meter race, she finished the event, which included skaters from B.C., Alberta and the Northwest Territories, with very strong times in the 3,000-m, 1,500-m and 500-m races.

At only 17 years of age, Alyssa is now a nationally ranked short track speed skater.

She has been skating for eight years and is currently ranked 57 in Canada in her age group.

This honour brings with it the potential to compete in the Canadian Short Track Championships, which will be held March 2013 in Montreal.

When she is not on the road competing or training, Alyssa volunteers her time to help out twin sister Anna, who is the head coach of the junior Ice Breakers.

The twins first started skating in Mackenzie when they were nine years old.

The family moved to the Okanagan in 2008 and joined the Ice Breakers that year.

Anna enjoyed speed skating competitions but finds coaching young skaters more rewarding. She has been a full time coach the past three years volunteering her time and expertise on both Wednesday and Friday nights during the season.

Both are Grade 12 students at A.L. Fortune in Enderby who plan to continue their involvement with the sport after graduation.

“I just love working with kids who enjoy what they are doing, and see them improve each year,” says Anna about why she coaches. “Seeing them work hard with smiles on their faces keeps me coming back.”

The entire family is passionate about speed skating, with mom Myrna acting as the club treasurer and dad Les, a past director, and now filling in whatever role is needed. He’s typically on the road with Alyssa, assisting with equipment, helping out with younger skaters at races or acting as track steward or race starter at regional meets.

Anyone wishing to catch Alyssa and other speed skaters in action, the Ice Breakers’ regular practice time is on Fridays from 6:30-7:15 p.m.

You can watch Anna and her junior racers from 5:15-6:30 p.m.

Both practices take place at Hucul Pond in the Shaw Centre.

Members of the Ice Breakers will be on hand to answer any questions, and to provide more information.

“You can start speed skating at any age or ability – it is a great workout and we have a large selection of skates available for new members,” says Rick Hofmann, president of the Ice Breakers.

“Anyone is welcome to come and give it a try.”

For more information, call Kimm at 250-804-3083 or email kmahof@shaw.ca

 

Just Posted

Salmon Arm’s Shoemaker Hill opens after snowy winter

Spring officially comes to city as city crews open steep hill on Monday, March 25

Warning issued after construction materials burned

Salmon Arm Fire Department emphasizes it is illegal to burn scraps from building sites

All regional district fields and ball diamonds closed

Soaking ground leads to closure of CSRD sports fields to prevent damage

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: Rainy days ahead

Rain in the forecast until Wednesday

Video: Shuswap home to thriving community of beekeepers

Apiary operators share details about how they keep their hives healthy

VIDEO: Fire contained to garage beside East Kelowna house

Garage is fully involved, say firefighters

Animals seized again from North Okanagan property

Animals to be seized not yet confirmed

B.C. river cleanup crew finds bag of discarded sex toys

Chilliwack volunteers stumble on unexpected find while removing 600 lbs of trash from riverway

Turning an Okanagan hospital’s medical waste into art

Safe recycled waste materials are being used by local artists to create art

Trudeau sells housing plan in visit to hot real estate market in B.C.

Trudeau said the budget contains measures to help first-time buyers

Young mother dies in Highway 3 semi collision

According to friends the victim was on her way to work, to a job she started earlier in the week

Cultural plan, with public feedback, to be presented at Kelowna council meeting

Council will be presented with an update to the 2020-2025 Cultural Plan Monday

Ben Klick headlines Westbank Country Opry

The Westbank Country Opry returns March 31

Norway opens probe into why cruise ship ventured into storm

The Viking Sky was headed for southern Norway when it had engine problems on Saturday afternoon

Most Read