Darrell Rasmussen is returning to coach the Nelson Speed Skating Club for a second straight year. The former Canadian National Team member joined the club last year and guided them to a very successful year.
Rasmussen joins head coach Jason Hartleb and junior coach Emily Musa in the club’s five hours per week of practice time at the Nelson and District Community Complex.
Many of last year’s athletes are returning and the club hopes to attract new members to experience the fast thrills of short track racing. Former Nelson club members who have gone on to greater speed skating exploits are Scott Bickerton of Nelson and Ashley Nelson of Crescent Valley, both now with the National Long Track Development Team.
Among those returning athletes is Tyler Hartleb 15, the current BC Long Track Champion. Hartleb has been alternating practices between Kelowna, Calgary and Nelson as he trains towards the 2015 Canada Winter Games in Prince George. He has been training for both long track and short track and given his progress should qualify for both. If successful, he will have to choose one of the two in which to represent BC at the Games.
Other members are training for the 2014 BC Winter Games to be held in Mission in February and other events in Kelowna, Kamloops, Salmon Arm and other communities around BC. Practices begin the first week in October and continue until mid-March. Members can choose to skate up to three times per week depending upon their skill level and goals.
The club has speed skaters from all over the West Kootenays ranging in age from five years to 68. While most compete in BC racing events the club also has members who join for the fun and great aerobic conditioning or just to learn a new sport. The club also has members whose goal is to improve their conditioning and skating techniques for hockey.
The club offers an inexpensive 10 week learn to speed skate program and has speed skates for rent although hockey skates are welcome for newcomers. Other required equipment for this program is relatively inexpensive.
Registration for new and returning members for the 2013/2014 season will take place in the multi-purpose room at the Nelson and District Community Complex on September 28 between 12:15 and 2:15 pm. Speed skates can be rented at this time.
Anyone of any age interested in trying out the sport or for more information should contact head coach Jason Hartleb at 250-304-4416.