Atlantic Canada Development Strategy Meeting a Tremendous Success

On April 5th and 6th, 2008 leaders within the speed skating family across Atlantic Canada came together in Moncton to discuss strategies for developing speed skating in the region. Twenty-one (21) representatives representing clubs in Nova-Scotia, Prince-Edward-Island, New-Brunswick and Eastern Quebec were present for the meeting which was supported by Speed Skating Canada.

Utilising the Canadian Sport for Life philosophy and Speed Skating Canada’s Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) model, meeting participants discussed challenges facing the region and how the framework provided within the LTAD model could provide opportunities to develop speed skating within the region. Areas of discussion included learn to skate programs, club promotion, competition structure and coaching development. The group had committed to continue this discussion over the coming months by way of an on-line discussion forum of how to improve their programs and seek out increased collaboration.

The highlight of the weekend included a commitment by the region to assist Nova Scotia in hosting its first speed skating event in 3 years, an event that would include a portion dedicated to skill development exercises as identified by the LTAD; a commitment to develop an Atlantic region coach’s forum to assist coaches with the application of LTAD principles within their training programs; and an agreement to make the coming together of the Atlantic region an annual event in order to enhance collaboration within the region.

This meeting was coordinated by Speed Skating Canada’s Sport Development Director, Dawn Currie and facilitated by LTAD Implementation Committee Co-Chair Jim McClements and committee member Douglas Duncan. It is an initiative of the LTAD working group’s implementation strategy and represents part of Speed Skating Canada’s commitment to assist clubs and branches in utilising the Canadian Sport for Life philosophy and Speed Skating Canada’s Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD) model as a tool to enhance the quality of sporting programs within speed skating across Canada.

For more information about the Canadian Sport for Life philosophy and Speed Skating Canada’s Long Term Athlete Development model please consult www.speedskating.ca/ltad.cfm