FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Fort St. John Elks Speed Skating Club has announced the dates for the upcoming World Masters Allround Games next Spring.
The speed skating event will take place at the Pomeroy Sports Centre from March 10th to 12th, 2017. The International Masters’ Speed Skating Committee awarded the event to the club a few years ago. According to Elks Vice-President Wim Kok, Fort St. John’s indoor oval was the talk of the international speed skating community when it was built in 2010.
Kok says that there is a preference for indoor facilities to host speed skating events because the ice conditions are guaranteed. Indeed, the speed skating venue for the 2015 Canada Winter Games was moved to the Pomeroy after warm temperatures caused the outdoor oval in Prince George to turn back into a lake. “We bid three times and it was third time lucky,” explained Kok.
Speaking at yesterday’s city council meeting, Kok says that out of the maximum of 200 skaters, 43 skaters from Canada, Germany, Norway and the United States have already registered to compete. Forty spots will be available to Canadian skaters. The Games typically draw skaters aged 30 and older from roughly twenty countries. Those skaters are grouped according to gender and age, and skate up to four distances ranging from 500 metres to 5,000 metres.