Ottawa welcomes 122 young skaters from Eastern Canada for the 2017 Canada East Short Track Championships

Ottawa, March 23, 2017 – The Elizabeth Manley International Skating Centre at the Bob MacQuarrie Recreation Complex (1490 Youville Drive) in Ottawa, ON, will play host to 122 young skaters, March 25-26, during the 2017 Canada East Short Track Championships, presented by Ontario 150.

The best skaters from New Brunswick, Newfoundland-and-Labrador, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Quebec, Prince Edward Island and from the host province, Ontario, in the “Training to Train” stage of development in the 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15 year old categories, will take part in the competition, the final one of the season at the national level. It will be hosted by the Ottawa Pacers and Gloucester Concordes Speed Skating Clubs, under the leadership of Speed Skating Canada.

The best skaters in Western Canada took part in the 2017 Canada West Short Track Championships in Saskatoon, SK, March 18-19.

“We are pleased to host the 2017 Canada East Short Track Championships in the nation’s capital, bringing together the top youth athletes from Eastern Canada,” said Celeste Peixe-Bouma, Co-Chair of the Organizing Committee. “This event is an opportunity for us to celebrate our skaters and to highlight the 150th anniversary of Ontario as a province, and Canada as a country.”

These championships are intended to be the focal point of athlete preparation for skaters in the "Training to Train" stage of development, while providing meaningful, high profile and developmentally appropriate end of season events which are a source of motivation and opportunity for recognition of the best developing skaters in Canada. It’s also a primary introduction to national competitions where the rising stars represent their province. They will take part in the 200m pursuit event, as well as the 400m, 1500m, 2000m and 3000m points races and 3000m relay events.

Races will be held from 8 am to 5:30 pm on both days and admission is free. The event will be webcast through www.cest2017.ca thanks to the support of Storm Internet and Algonquin College. Fans can also follow the competition on Twitter (@CEST2017), Facebook (CEST2017) and Instagram (CEST2017), where live results will be posted.

Participation of many National Teams members
Many members of Speed Skating Canada’s National Teams will also be on hand all weekend long, including the previous representative of the Gloucester Concordes who won a silver medal in the 1000m at the 2017 World Single Distance Championships held in Gangneung, South Korea, last February, Vincent De Haître.

Three-time Olympic medalist in Short Track Speed Skating Mathieu Turcotte will also attend the athletes’ banquet to be held Friday, March 24, starting at 5:30 pm at the Canadian Aviation and Space Museum. Turcotte, who won a gold medal in the relay at the 2002 Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, as well as a silver medal in the relay and a bronze in the 1000m in Torino, in 2006, will be joining municipal and provincial dignitaries.

They will also be accompanied by Short Track National Team member Jamie Macdonald, who won a silver and a bronze medal in the 500m distance over the six World Cup stages she skated in this season. At the 2017 Canadian Senior Championships, the skater from Fort St. James, B.C., took the fifth spot in overall standings.

Members of the Canadian team at the 2017 ISU World Junior Short Track Championships Gibson Himbeault from Whitby, ON, and Renee Steenge from Brampton, ON, will also be on hand. In Innsbruck, Austria, last January, Steenge and Himbeault respectively took 15th and 21st place in overall rankings.

Alphonse Ouimette from Brockville, ON, who took 16th place at the Canadian Senior Short Track Championships, is also part of the list of skaters who will meet and inspire the next generation of skaters and who will take part in the webcast of the competition all weekend long.

More info, including the full schedule and results, are available on Speed Skating Canada’s website at www.speedskating.ca and on the official website of the competition at www.cest2017.ca.

About Speed Skating Canada
Speed Skating Canada (SSC) is the governing body for competitive long track and short track speed skating in Canada. Founded in 1887, the association is comprised of 13 provincial and territorial branches representing more than 14,000 individual members, and counting. SSC believes that sport is an apprenticeship for life and prizes respect for others, integrity, excellence of effort, as well as a safe, healthy environment. SSC recognizes and values its outstanding volunteers who give freely of their time and expertise. It also celebrates the 63 Olympic medals won by Canadian athletes since 1932, as well as the coaches, officials and other dedicated individuals who helped them on their journey.

SSC is proud to be affiliated with partners that share the same vision and values including our premium sponsors Intact Insurance, as well as our funding partners, the Government of Canada, Own the Podium, City of Montreal, Calgary Olympic Oval and WinSport Canada.

About the Gloucester Concordes and the Ottawa Pacers
The Gloucester Concordes Speed Skating Club was established in 1989 and is based at the Bob MacQuarrie Recreation Complex in Orleans. The established programs have something for skaters of all ages 6-60 plus in both short track and long track speed skating. The Gloucester Concordes skaters have flown to great heights, winning countless medals and championships. Many of the alumni have been members of Canada’s National Teams, proudly represented Ontario at Canada Winter Games and some even call themselves Olympians such as Ivanie Blondin, Vincent De Haître and Nicolas Bean or are known as world class coaches like Jonathon Cavar, David Morrison and Mike Rivet. As part of the Gloucester Concordes family, present and past skaters stay in touch and cheer each other on.

The Ottawa Pacers Speed Skating Club, established in 1980, is one of the largest and oldest speed skating clubs in Ontario. Based at the Bell Sensplex in Kanata and at the Brewer Park Oval, the Club boasts over 200 members of all ages and skill levels in its short track and long track programs. The Ottawa Pacers are proud to be the home club of Kristina Groves, the four-time Olympic medal winner.

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For information:
Patrick Godbout
Communications & Media Relations Manager
Speed Skating Canada
Email: pgodbout@speedskating.ca
Phone: 514 213-9897
Website: www.speedskating.ca 
Facebook: www.facebook.com/SSC.PVC
Twitter: www.twitter.com/SSC_PVC

Lisa Kluke
Media Coordinator
CEST2017
Email: lisakluke@videotron.ca
Phone: 613-220-2866