We hope that all of you get out to vote for Calgary 2026, with polling stations closing at 10 pm tonight! The following is a Nov 6, 2018 press release from the Calgary Grizzlies Speed Skating Club. It emphasizes the great strides the Grizzlies are making towards growing the grassroots in speed skating and the positive impact an Olympics can have to clubs like ours. Go Grizzlies!
6 November 2018
Calgary Grizzlies speed skating club is growing the grassroots in Rocky Ridge
The Calgary Grizzlies Speed Skating Club is Alberta’s newest speed skating club. Incorporated in 2017, its mission is to train athletes to compete with PRIDE: Passion, Respect, Improvement, Drive and Excellence. In our second season, the club has grown from an initial membership of 22 experienced skaters to over 52 skaters with a wide range of experience and abilities. With a group of committed athletes, dedicated coaches, and parent volunteers, the team has excelled on and off the ice. Grizzlies athletes graced podiums repeatedly in local, provincial, regional and national competitions last year; and now with a summer of dryland training under their belts, they are excited to get back on the ice and build on this impressive start!
In one season, the speed skating community has taken notice of the Grizzlies PRIDE. The club is working as part of a Regional Working Group, headed by Yves Hamelin (Director of the Calgary Olympic Oval), and including Catriona Le May Doan (Senior Director for Sport & Community Engagement at Sport Calgary). The Alberta Amateur Speed Skating Association and Speed Skating Canada have advocated for the growth of speed skating in Calgary, and have supported the club’s initiatives. Compared to the 2700 speed skaters registered with clubs in the Montreal area (6000 speed skaters registered in the Province of Quebec), speed skaters within the entire province of Alberta number only 700 with approximately 200 skaters located in Calgary.
The Grizzlies have accepted the challenge to build on Calgary’s proud speed skating heritage. This fall, the club expanded its Learn-to-Speed-Skate and Learn-to-Train programs for kids 4-15, by partnering with the newly completed Shane Homes YMCA at Rocky Ridge in Northwest Calgary. “The Grizzlies’ new home at the Shane Homes YMCA at Rocky Ridge has immediately bolstered the club’s membership efforts to bring the excitement and beauty of speed skating to the grass roots community. Communities are better served by local ice rinks to encourage membership, and the small ice surfaces are ideal for training young athletes” says Marc Poulin, President of the Board of Directors for the Grizzlies. To further its mandate of inclusivity, the club has also engaged with the Special Olympics Calgary organization to offer weekly on-ice sessions for differently-abled skaters at Rocky Ridge. “These initiatives will promote healthy and active living in a broad sector of Calgary’s population” says Poulin. Additionally, these efforts will inspire developing athletes to join the ranks of competitors on the international stage, continuing Canada’s legacy of speed skating at the Olympics.
The Calgary Grizzlies are working to advance speed skating in Calgary, Alberta, and Canada and clearly understand the importance of hosting an event such as the 2026 Winter Olympics. The Olympic Games promote a variety of winter sports, showcasing sports ambassadors to the host city. This leaves citizens not only with indelible memories of the events and the experiences of a community coming together, but the bricks and mortar where they can exercise their passion for a sport.
The positive influences the events and the legacy facilities have on our youth is immeasurable, creating a legacy of passion for a healthy and active lifestyle, skill development to be applied in all areas of a productive life, and the creation of life-long friendships through sport team membership.
The Grizzlies hope to encourage PRIDE (passion, respect, improvement, drive and excellence) in all residents of Calgary, in whatever sport they love. We encourage a resounding “YES” vote on November 13th.
President, Board of Directors – Calgary Grizzlies Speed Skating Club
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