The Vanderhoof Clippers Speed Skating Club is in the process of getting a booth rebuilt at the arena.
Terry Lazaruk, president of the club, presented to council at a regular public meeting on June 24 to request for council support in order to apply for grants and some funding to start work on the rebuild.
The Vanderhoof Arena doesn’t have a proper stand set up, so the club is unable to host sanctioned meets as they are unable to provide skaters with accurate times. The club is dependent on these meets for funding to operate the club.
Lazaruk told council that in the past meets, skaters of all levels would come to the District from Fort St. John, Prince George, Fort St. James, Williams Lake and Kamloops to compete. But due to the club’s inability to provide proper times, there are fewer skaters coming to Vanderhoof to compete.
“This is a lost opportunity for Vanderhoof skaters to compete with others,” Lazaruk told council.
In an interview with the Vanderhoof Omineca Express, he said that Advanced Millwright Services Ltd. are supporting the club by paying for the timing booth, materials and labour.
As for the funding for platform engineering costs, the worst case scenario is that the club will cover the cost and if things work out, Lazaruk said they are hoping the costs are donated. “This is a work in progress still,” he said.
He said the club is trying to secure funding for the speed skating platform fabrication through grants.
The Clippers will be hosting their first meet this year at the end of November. Lazaruk said they may or may not be able to have the booth done by that time. “Worst case we will have it done for next year. We will face a set back if that happens, but it will still be done for next year,” he added.
The Vanderhoof Clippers Speed Skating Club started in 2004 as the Nechako Lakes Speed Skating Club. Currently the club is the one of the largest in the province with 136 members and 75 skaters.
The club has run coached sessions three days per week for the kids and have 5 trained and certified coaches with an additional four coaching assistants that the club is working on getting trained this fall.
Meanwhile, Lazaruk said he has had discussions with Ian Leslie, Fire Chief and Darren Dyck, building inspector for the District to ensure that their proposal for changes to a booth in the arena meet their expectations and conform to code requirements.
He said other ice user groups have also been consulted with and both figure skating and minor hockey have no concerns. People from minor hockey are viewing this as an opportunity to work together to make improvements to the Timing booth that would benefit all hockey groups, Lazaruk added.
The club is requesting some funding from council and a letter of support to apply for other grants.