Olympic speedskater Maddison Pearman gave back to her former club over the weekend.
On Sunday the Red Deer Central Lions Speed Skating Club held an Open House Try Speed Skating event.
At the club’s new home at the GH Dawe Community Centre on Sunday they helped dozens of curious or new speed skaters give the sport a try.
And what better way than to learn from one of the world’s best?
The 27-year-old from Ponoka made the jump into speed skating at just five years old with the Red Deer Central Lions Speed Skating Club.
And 22 years later Pearman continues to give back to the local club.
“It’s always great going back to the club and helping out,” she said. “It’s really nice to meet some of those kids and talk to them. As well, have new kids that have never speed skated before that just wanted to give it a try.”
“Seeing the youth being excited about going out, skating, and trying something new was awesome to see.”
Pearman explained it was a mix of kids who were already a part of the club and those who had never skated before.
Pearman was joined by her sister Brooke and other coaches from the club in teaching the participants the basics of speed skating. They also had a few races followed by fun games before htey wrapped up the event.
“That’s one of the biggest I think in youth sports is going out there and having fun. Doing something active but not being too serious and enjoying it. That will keep kids in the sport longer,” she added.
Pearman makes a point to try and come back to the club every year to teach the kids. She hopes to show the kids where the sport can lead them.
“I love speedskating and I want kids to continue speed skating. If that means me coming back and flashing a smile then I am always more than willing to come back and do that,” Pearman said.
“I was definitely very impressed with how many kids came out… Everyone seemed really excited and lots had a really fun time.”
This season Pearman will once again represent Team Canada on the 2023-24 Canadian NextGen long track team.
She first represented her country on the international stage in 2013 at the World Junior Championships. Since then she’s competed for Canada at various levels and has come home with hardware. She also competed in the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing in the 1000m and 1500m events.
“I feel good, fast, and fit so I hope this season goes well.”