Recent History – 2000
By Rick Davison, Daily News Staff
While the Dawson Creek Speed Skating Club has just started its season, soon enough the 65 skaters will be attending meets most every weekend.
The sport begins with indoor competitions until the outdoor long track is ready. Some years that could be as soon as late November or early December.
Later this week, the competitive skaters, under the direction of coaches Ron Cartier, Donna Alexander, Meredith Thornton, Cindy Malkinson, Don Hopkins, Fred Feddema, Heather Chahley and Stefan Pavlis, will be off to their first meet, an Oct. 29 competition in Fort St. John.
After that it’s a Nov. 4 date in Chetwynd and then a major meet in Prince George Nov. 25-26. Dawson Creek hosts it own meet Dec. 3. Later that month, the skaters change direction and travel east for a Grande Prairie meet Dec. 9-10.
Unlike last season the Dawson Creek oval will not be the site of any provincial championships, however, the local club will hold an inter-club long track meet in mid-January.
The club will also attend a major long track meet in Red Deer Jan. 20-21 that traditionally attracts skaters from the western provinces.
For the first time, the provincial long track championships will be held in Fort St. James. That takes place during the last weekend in January.
The club also expects to send a contingent to the Northern B.C. Winter Games in Mackenzie. Games organizers are putting in an outdoor long track oval that is slightly smaller than the regulation-sized Dawson Creek oval.
With all those meets and four practices a week, there will be lots of opportunity to improve on the beginning and end-of-season times.
“We are looking forward to an exciting season ahead. We have some skaters who will do very well provincially and we anticipate that we will have a good run at being the most improved club in the nation. We’re looking to improve on our performance from last year, and we are looking forward to having a real fun season this year,” commented Fred Feddema, president of the Dawson Creek Speed Skating Club.
While the club has roughly the same number of skaters as last year- there are also some new skaters. There are beginners skaters in all divisions, including at the adult level, but it’s among the youngest skaters in the cradle division, for kids five years old and under, where the largest number of novice skaters has shown up.
“That’s nice to see because it helps keep the growth going,” said Feddema.
The club skates Tuesday and Thursday evenings and Friday and Sunday afternoons. The club will be in the arena until the long track oval behind SPSS is ready and then the skaters move outdoors.
New members are always welcome and can contact Feddema at 782-9544.