NEWS: The Alberta Hokkaido Sport Exchange is underway

CALGARY – The Alberta Hokkaido Sport Exchange is underway. Today, Alberta Amateur Speed Skating Association (AASSA) sent 20 young skaters, with coaches and other leaders, to Hokkaido, Japan for a sport and cultural exchange.

Alberta Sport, Recreation, Parks and Wildlife Foundation (ASRPWF) supports a Government of Alberta international sport exchange with Hokkaido, Alberta’s sister province in Japan.

In November 2010, 21 Hokkaido skaters and seven team leaders toured Alberta, and trained and competed with Alberta skaters. Starting today, 20 Alberta skaters will reciprocate, in an eight-day tour of Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost prefecture.

The skaters participating in this sport and cultural exchange were selected after a competitive process based on long track skating times and on essays and reference letters. They male skaters are: Camden Chabot, Jason Grenon, Jordan Henkelman, Cooper Hunter, Nolan Messer, Cody Miller, Christopher Morrison, Matthew Pariseau, Devin Rigby and Dylan White. The female skaters selected are: Allison Bates, Sophie Croteau, Chloe Howe, Stephanie Lareau, Adeline Maunder, Emily Mellor, Brooke Pearman, Maddison Pearman, Danielle Wallish and Mallory Zorman.

These Alberta skaters will skate long track friendship meets in Obihiro and Kushiro.

Coaches for this exchange are Aletta deRooij and Ryan Hickman, and the team manager is Shawna Pearman. Other members of the delegation are Blair Carbert (AASSA president), Richard Starke (delegation manager) and Wendy Walker (AASSA program coordinator). The foundation is represented by Shona Shleppe of the Alberta Ministry of Sport and Recreation. Ray Kardas (athletic therapist) is with the group, as part of the exchange’s commitment to sport medicine. As a cultural exchange, Alberta athletes will also be exposed to different aspects of Japanese culture and society.

This is a great opportunity for Alberta speed skaters to see a new part of the world and get exposure to international competition. Alberta Amateur Speed Skating Association wishes them well.

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