The Kamloops Long Blades Speed Skating Club has won the Intact Insurance Club Excellence Award.
The club will receive a $10,000 grand prize to support a grassroots development project that aims to welcome new Canadians to the Long Blades and become part of the community through sport.
The club will also receive a visit from a pair of National Team athletes during the 2022-2023 season.
Four other speed skating clubs in B.C., Ontario and Quebec were named finalists for the annual award and will each take home a $2,500 cash prize to help finance their respective initiatives.
Sponsored by Speed Skating Canada’s longstanding partner, Intact Insurance, the Club Excellence Award distributes $20,000 in grants each season to local speed skating clubs undertaking grassroots development initiatives that help the sport grow and thrive within their community.
The award recognizes the contributions of local speed skating clubs to sport and community development and the importance of grassroots programs to high performance success.
Dozens of clubs from across the country submitted project ideas, including diversity and inclusion programming, the purchase of new safety mats or skating equipment and open house initiatives that increase awareness of the sport.
The Long Blades will use the Club Excellence Award grand prize to further develop its SWIFT (Speed Skating with International Friends Together) program, run in collaboration with the Kamloops-Cariboo Regional Immigrant Services.
The program looks to bring new Canadians to the rink and teach them how to speed skate. The goal of the program is to welcome new Canadians to the club and create opportunities for kids and their families to make new friends and become part of the community through sport.
For more information on the Kamloops Long Blades Speed Skating Club, go online to kamloopslongblades.ca/