The Red Deer Lions Speed Skating Club will host their final meet of the season this weekend.
From Jan. 14-15, the club will be home to 70 skaters from across the province for the annual Jeremy Wotherspoon Open Long Track Meet.
The group will compete on an outdoor 400-metre oval track at Setters Place that was built on top of the football field.
The competition is a youth qualifier for the Canadian Youth Long Track Championships (CYLTC) which will take place Feb. 4-5 in B.C.
Club registrar and meet recorder Alison Wigelsworth said those who can qualify for the event are skaters aged 11, 12, and 13.
“This is the qualification to be on Team Alberta for the CYLTC… We weren’t able to host it the last couple of years because of COVID-19 and last year because of a weather issue. It won’t be a bad turnout at all,” she said.
“It is very exciting. It’s such a wonderful facility so to be able to showcase it at our long track meet is always a good weekend.”
The top two in each age group at the end of the meet will qualify for Team Alberta. However, a portion of the meet is also for younger skaters as well as a part for older members aged 14-18 to take part.
Most of the members from the Red Deer Lions will compete and Wigelsworth explained they have two kids who are close to earning spots on Team Alberta, Parker Tarbett and Nathon Kettyle Kozuback.
The club just finished competing at a long track meet in Calgary where Kettyle Kozuback finished in third place in the youth male division and Tarbett was third in the 11-year-old division. James Wigelsworth also competed well in Calgary taking second place among the junior 15-year-olds.
“It’s been a great season of skating for our skaters,” she added.
Members of the public hoping to watch the competition are welcome to do so free of charge. There is seating on the outside bleachers as well as seating indoors. Racing on both days will begin around 9:30 a.m. and will last most of the day.