Tuesday, April 27, 2010

RCR Annual General Meeting Report

The Kamloops River City Racers Speed Skating Club hosted its annual Season’s Awards Celebration and AGM on Sunday April 25, 2010.

Members of the River City Racers this season participated in events as local as the club’s own mini meets to Junior World Cups and Olympic Trials. For those skaters that raced this season, each was awarded with a ‘how fast can you skate’ medal. Skaters best times were converted into KPM and times ranged from 2.6 KPH to 44.2 KPH.

‘Skater of the Year’ recognition was shared between siblings this season. Eric Spence (11yrs) who is the club’s first Canadian Champion and Tori Spence (17yrs) who came 5th at Junior Nationals this season and skated to a bronze medal finish in the 3k event at both the Nationals and North American Championships. Tori broke and set 5 provincial records this season, qualified to skate in three distances at the 2010 Olympic Trials, and is the Provincial Junior women’s champion setting 4 new track records in the process. Eric broke and set two new provincial records, is the Provincial Midget boy’s champion setting 4 new track records in the process.

Most Improved Female Short Track skater went to Anneke Pederson (15yrs). Anneke skated at the BCWG and came home with a gold medal, was the 4th ranked juvenile female skater in the province and qualifed and skated at Canadian Age Class Nationals in New Brunswick. Brother Matej Pederson (8 yrs) was the most improved male short track skater winning the Provincial Championships in the PeeWee boys division and sweeping all four distances skated. He broke and set two new provincial records in the process. (These records had been held for 16 years by Denny Morrison).

Most Improved Female Long Track Skater went to Sara Spence (14yrs) who won the Provincial Juvenile Girls Long Track Championship title setting three new track records. Sara broke and set three new provincial records and skated at the Canadian Age Class Championships in Winnipeg where she placed 6th overall.

Alex Forbes (11yrs) and Gillian Michell (9yrs) took the most improved male and female award respectively. Gillian Michell was the gold medal champion at the southern regionals and moved up from a regional 2 skater to a regional 1 skater.

Calvin Forbes (10yrs) won the most improved mini meet award and Alexander Willis (7 yrs) took the Rookie of the Year award.

Special recognition was given to Tim Mburu (8yrs) who moved from a R1 skater to a provincial skater this season.

Volunteer of the Year Award went to Mark Pederson who looks after the equipment needs plus many other roles in the club.

Josie Spence (16yrs) was awarded the Sportsmanship Award for her initiative during practices to assist the coaches with warm up drills and technical demonstrations and assist younger members who are new to the club. She is also a very accomplished speed skater herself and sets an excellent example for other skaters in the sport.

Other season highlights for the River City Racers Club included hosting their fifth annual Polarthon (winter triathlon) and fourth Logan Lake LOop events (long track speed skating event) out at Logan Lake in January. The club also just recently hosted Gold Medal Olympian Denny Morrison and his National Team member brother Jay Morrison. Skater Tori Spence was a finalist in the Sport BC Athlete of the Year Awards and won the Kamloops Sports Council Female Athlete of the Year. Mom, Cathy Turnbull Spence, was an honored recipient of the Kamloops Spirit Scarf and Josie Spence was a very proud Olympic Torch bearer as this 2010 Olympic symbol passed through Kamloops in January.

A special moment of reflection was recognized during the club ceremonies, in the memory of Lisa Van Shie Wynne who passed away Saturday, April 24. Lisa courageously battled cancer for the past eight years. Lisa was one of the founding members of the River City Racers and one of their original speed skating coaches.

Skating practices with the River City Racers will resume in late September 2010. Training opportunities are already around the corner for next season with a regional training and testing camp set for Kelowna this May 15 – 16 and an off ice dry land camp set for speed skaters (and their parents) in Kamloops on June 13.

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