Our skaters have been very busy practicing and competing during our first half of the season. This second half is a race to the end with many very important meets and championships on the horizon.
For many, this year is their first and skaters in Group 1 have completed two levels for their Cutting Edge Pin Program. The program is geared to teach the children to be skaters first, then speed skaters. The pin program has 12 Levels with each level having 12 skills to master. Our club offers the pin program up to Level 5 or 6. Group 1 skaters will be happy to finally get their pins as we just got them in. The pins will be distributed to Group 1 skaters shortly.
Congratulation to the skaters who tested for the Cutting Edge Pin Program in December;
Level 1 & 2: Jimmie, Matthew, Nathan, Arjen, Kingsley, Nelson and Evan.
Level 3 & 4: Madeleine, Aaron, Keane, Minal & Roanan.
The Rockets have been very successful in all level of competitions. Many skaters smashed their personal best (PB) times and are continuing to improve. So far the club has 10 skaters who are already qualified for the BCST, which is most of our Group 2 skaters. Boston has been competing on the Western Elite Circuit gathering points to earn a position on Team BC for the 2019 Canada Games. So far Boston ranks 4th and he will be able to improve his ranking next weekend at the WEC #3 in Calgary.
Boston, Avery and Emilee competed in Richmond at the Western Elite Circuit #2 and Lan-Vi, Ryan, Daniel Lakusta and Stephen raced at the Western T2T, both competitions are at the elite level. Lan-Vi finished 2nd in her division at the WT2T, while Ryan, Daniel and Stephen had PBs. At the WEC #2, Emilee skated a 9.5 seconds PB in the 1500m to grab the 2nd seat on the U16 Zone 5 BCWG.
When the dust settled on January 4th, the Rockets had placed 5 skaters on the BCWG teams, a best ever for our club. Congratulation to Giang-Vi & Emilee Z5 U16, Lan-Vi & Ryan Z5 U14 and Daniel Lakusta Z4 U14. A big High Five to Daniel and Emilee for never giving up and keeping their “rockets” lit to the end.
The past few weeks we also saw some of our Group 1 skaters moving up to Group 2 hoping to give them more exposure and experience to a high level of speed skating. Welcome to Stephen, Roanan and Minal.
Coaching; In December, Yan Yan returned to China to be on the coaching staff of the Chinese National team and she has been replaced by David Morrison. At the same time, Nick returned from Germany and has rejoined our coaching staff. We are very fortunate to have him back. Nick has been a speed skater for many years and was competing at a high level among national level skaters. He knows what he is talking about!!! It’s great to have him skate with the skaters. Welcome back Nick!
For Group 2, our coaching staff had some minor changes without disrupting the training. Nathalie has to step back from coaching due to some health issue. As such, Nick is now the lead coach for Group 2 and Nathalie will continue doing some administrative tasks.
Good News; Congratulation to Greg for being nominated to Zone 5 BCWG coaching team!
Despite being a Short Track club, we have few skaters competing on the Long Track with good successes. Emilee travelled to Calgary for the CanAm where 392 skaters from 14 countries were blazing around the 400m oval. It was quite an experience to see what level national skaters race at. She eclipsed her previous PBs in all distances.
On the weekend of January 20th, Nam, Giang-Vi, Lan-Vi and Emilee went to Fort St-John to compete in the BC Long Track Championship. This was a tow-day age-class competition. Lan-Vi raced very well and came home with a silver medal and a seat on the BC Team for the Canadian Age-Class Long Track Championship. Nam also had a podium finish, GOLD! Giang-Vi and Emilee had a tough division, but it didn’t stop them from skating PBs. Lan-Vi will be going to Quebec City for the CACLT on February 9 to 11, Good Luck!
V-RRooom Challenge IV, notes from President Scott:
Thank you to Aisha and Terry for getting our new club’s skinsuits. The skinsuits arrived just in time for the V-RRoom Challenge and the skaters looked sharp.
The energy started with the signing of the anthems, then the Mayor of Richmond welcomed the crowds, the ice was perfect and the athletes were at their best! You could reach out and feel the excitement and it carried on all day non-stop. There was never a dull moment and I saw some outstanding races and excellent skating. Our skaters were great and I was proud to see our Richmond Rockets looking good and skating well.