Canada’s Best Speed Skating Story Keeps Getting Better: Lloydminster Border Blades put ING’s $5,000 Club Donation into New Speed Skating Facility Enhancements

Eight months after Alastair Starke’s “Durness Oval Story” was crowned ’s Best Speed Skating Story, his home club, the Lloydminster Border Blades, have done wonders with the $5,000 donation from ING.

Taking a page from the movie Field of Dreams, 17-year-old Alastair Starke of Lloydminster, Alberta told the story of an oval he created on a frozen slough behind his family's farm to prepare for the Alberta Winter Games.

But he won’t have to train on a frozen slough this season.

Speed Skating Icon Catriona Le May Doan presents Alastair Starke, winner of the ING Speed Skating Challenge, with a $5,000 cheque for his club, the Lloydminster Border Blades, at the ING Awards Party in Calgary in March 2008.

Alastair’s winning story clearly resonated with the community, leading to significant enhancements to the new outdoor speed skating oval for the upcoming season.

“After skating on the slough in 2006, the City of Lloydminster built a 400m long track. There is a lot of work that has to be done to develop that facility – lighting, fencing and the purchase of maintenance equipment such as a snowplow. The $5,000 from the ING Speed Skating Challenge has been earmarked for that purpose,” commented Alastair’s father Richard Starke.

Once Alastair’s video story was chosen as a finalist, the club began receiving

dozens of calls from people relaying memories about skating on frozen sloughs during their childhood. Because of this, the club has decided to host the first ever “Durness Oval Classic” on the Durness slough. The snow will be cleared to create the original 346m track and a variety of competitive and fun races will take place.

Because of this, the club has decided to host the first ever “Durness Oval Classic” on the Durness slough. The snow will be cleared to create the original 346m track and a variety of competitive and fun races will take place. Because of this, the club has decided to host the first ever “Durness Oval Classic” on the Durness slough. The snow will be cleared to create the original 346m track and a variety of competitive and fun races will take place. Because of this, the club has decided to host the first ever “Durness Oval Classic” on the Durness slough. The snow will be cleared to create the original 346m track and a variety of competitive and fun races will take place.

For Club President Julie Provencher, the ING Speed Skating Challenge has had more than just a financial impact on the Border Blades. “Alastair’s story articulates what our club is all about. It comes back to the pride and memories of the skaters, coaches, parents and executive pulling together last spring. ING gave our club the opportunity to reach a personal best,” said Provencher.

ING also donated $2,500 and $1,000 respectively to the Iqaluit Speed Skating Association on behalf of Runner-up Sarah Ali and to the Winnipeg Speed Skating Club on behalf of Catriona’s Most Inspirational Winner, Andrea Johnson.

The community club donations have been used to provide new rental skates for club members and training and development bursaries for long-standing members of the clubs.

For more information about the ING Speed Skating Challenge or to view past winner’s video stories, please visit INGSpeedSkatingChallenge.com.

The second annual ING Speed Skating Challenge launched October 22, 2008 at the World Cup Short Track event in Vancouver, BC . National online voting begins February 9, 2009.

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Russell Reimer Rosa Nelson

Partner, Agenda Sport Marketing Communications Manager

(403) 585-8242 ING Insurance Company of

russell@agendasport.ca rosa.nelson@ingcanada.com