Do you have what it takes to become Britain’s next Winter Olympic medallist?
Come down to Bradford Ice Arena and take part in our speed training sessions, held on Monday evenings from 7.30pm (on the ice for 7.45pm) until 8.45pm. For further information or to join this exciting new club, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or ring Malcolm on 07999 477642.
Speed skating is a fast exciting sport. Races are held over various distances, from 500 metres right up to 3,000 metres. You race against other skaters in a direct head to head competition.
Speed skates differ from hockey or figure skates, as the blades are much longer and thinner. The boots are mainly manufactured from Kevlar, which makes them light and strong. The blades can be offset to assist with cornering.
Some safety equipment is required and can be split into two groups. The first group is for people who are just starting out in the sport. You will need the following:
A pair of speed skates, which the club may be able to lend you; a safety helmet, although a cycle helmet will be ok as long as you are not racing in a competition; strong gloves; tight fitting trousers, especially around the ankle area, so you don’t catch your trousers with the long blades.
The second group is for those who are racing. You will need the following additional equipment:
A closed in helmet, which has smaller air vents than a cycle helmet; a throat guard. Full details can we obtained via the club.
Our vision is to have a speed skater from Bradford in a British final within the next two years. As the sport now caters for all age groups, there is the opportunity for anyone to get there. Looking further ahead, as this is now an Olympic sport, there is a direct pathway to the Olympic Games. Think of the lift the City of Bradford would have if we could get a skater from Bradford to represent Great Britain at the next games.
Want to Know a Little History?
The Bradford Ice Speed Skating Club was formed when the old Leeds ice rink was converted into a roller rink. Coinciding with the opening of the rink here in Bradford in 1966, a number of the speed skaters transferred to Bradford.
For the next 25 plus years, the club experienced lots of ups and downs. The period from 1976 to 1992 saw many highlights, included a few of the club members representing Great Britain in Europe, Australia and South Africa. Bradford was always known to have a good relay team. There were many exciting race nights when relay races were held at the rink in Bradford. When these races reached the final few laps, sometimes the noise was so loud (especially if Bradford took the lead), that you could not hear yourself speak. We want those nights back at the Bradford rink again!
On the 9th January 2016, at the 50th Anniversary Party, the idea of re-establishing the club was first mooted. Following a couple of fact finding meetings, it was agreed that we would push the idea further forward. This entailed coaching qualifications being acquired, affiliation to the national body (NISA) being sorted, first aid and child protection courses attended, along with DBS checks being carried out. And of course, then a whole new club had to formed and ice training times agreed with the rink management, who have been extremely supportive with everything connected to the venture.
Equipment was the next problem, but we have been very lucky in that the Sheffield Speed Skating Club have lent us some speed skates, which will enable people to get a feel for what the sport is all about. One of the biggest headaches was the sourcing of the barrier crash protection pads. If we’d had to purchase these, it would have left a big hole in what financial resources we had. These funds have been boosted by a very generous donation from a great friend of the ice rink, Mr John Khan. So with a lot of help from Keith Wright from the Sheffield club and a generous gift from Archie Marshall, who is the Scottish Speed Skating Development Manager, we obtained a set of crash pads from the Dumfries Ice Arena. These are now stored at the Bradford ice rink, ready to use. The whole ethos of the new club is to cater for all age groups and abilities. We don’t want to exclude anybody due to financial restraints, so we’re applying for various grants and donations to help us purchase speed skates and other safety equipment.
Bradford Ice Speed Skating Club is back!
Malcolm Harrison, BISSC Chairman