The Ontario Elite Speed Skating championships will be held this weekend from Feb. 15 to 16 at the Kingston’s Cataraqui Arena.
Some of the best young skaters in the province will compete in the two-day event, including three members of the Kingston Striders Speed Skating Club.
“I am very much looking forward to it,” said Sandrine Lavoie.
The 13-year-old student from Marie Riviere said she loves the sport of speed skating.
“Being on the ice and going fast excites me,” continues Lavoie.
“When you’re on the line you’re so nervous, but when the gun sounds and you start skating, your training takes over and the butterflies disappear.
“My goal this weekend is to do the best I can.”
Seamus Keiley plans to use the weekend to score some personal best performances.
“My goal is to skate as fast as I can,” said the 15-year-old student at Holy Cross Secondary School.
Keiley says he looks forward to competing in front of the home crowd.
“It’s been a long time since Kingston hosted a provincial competition,” continued Keiley.
“I usually have to travel to compete in places like Winnipeg and New Brunswick, so it’s nice to finally skate at Cataraqui. My grandfather will be here and he hasn’t seen me skate in a long time.
“That’s something I really look forward to. My goal is to improve my times to move up in the provincial rankings.”
The third member of the Kingston Striders to compete this weekend is Tess Overvelde.
“It’s going to be a lot of fun and some great experience,” said Overvelde.
The 15-year-old student at Regiopolis-Notre Dame hopes to do well in front of family and friends.
“I’m really excited to skate this weekend,” stated Overvelde.
“I did figure skating for a while but changed to speed skating and I’m loving it. There’s a lot less pressure. In this sport you can go as fast as you can and that’s something I plan to do this weekend.”
Races on Saturday and Sunday begin at 9 a.m. and continue throughout the day.