The Kamloops Long Blades were on Thursday visited by a pair of national team speed skaters and presented with a cheque for $10,000, money that comes along with the Intact Insurance Club Excellence Award.
Tyson Langelaar and Gilmore Junio, both of whom represented Canada at the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing, are taking part in Medals on Tour, Speed Skating Canada’s cross-country initiative designed to showcase the country’s recent success.
Four more speed skating clubs – Peninsula Speed Skating Club (North Saanich), Milton Speed Skating Club (Milton, Ont.), Richmond Rockets Speed Skating Club and Club de patinage de vitesse Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve (Montréal) – were named finalists for the annual award and will each receive a $2,500 cash prize to help finance their respective initiatives.
The Long Blades will use the grand prize to further develop their SWIFT (Speed Skating with International Friends Together) program, which is run in collaboration with Kamloops-Cariboo Regional Immigrant Services.
“The Intact Insurance Club Excellence Award will allow these kids to skate with our club, make new friends and have fun, without having to worry about the cost,” Kamloops Long Blades Association treasurer Trish Archibald said in a Speed Skating Canada press release.
The program aims to bring new Canadians to the rink and teach them how to speed skate.
Since 2010, Intact Insurance has donated $420,000 to speed-skating clubs through the award.
KTW photographer Allen Douglas was at the event on Thursday. Click the arrows above to see his pictures.