Local Speed Skaters Learn From The Best

By Olivia McDonald
September 23, 2018 - 10:50am Updated: September 24, 2018 - 6:19pm

SPORTS - The BC Speed Skating Association held an Academy Short Track Camp in four different spots across the province. Prince George was one of those cities, hosting the camp at Kin 1 over the weekend which featured one very special guest. 

Olympic Athlete Jessica Hewitt made a stop in Prince George to coach a few local athletes. She says the camp is focused on 11 to 13-year-olds because there has always been a bigger focus on older athletes in this sport. She wants to spend more time with younger skaters who will be working towards Canada Games and eventually National Teams. 

"I remember when I was this age and Olympians came back and talked to me about their experiences and their knowledge and there are still things that are burned in my memory about that and I know that is what kind of kept me going and so it's very important to give that knowledge back to the future generation." 

Short track speed skating is a form of skating where the athletes compete against each other and not the clock. It introduces the elements of strategy, bravery and skill needed for racing. During the two day camp, the young athletes were put through circuits involving balance, speed and off-ice cardio training. 

Following her performance at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, Hewitt decided it was time to hang up her skates competitively and share her love for the sport with others. 

"So this is the first camp that I've done for BC and I hope to do more in the future. I would really like to be able to coach them in competitions I think that is my favourite place to be. Just that mental stability is important and I am here to teach and I'm still learning too. So I would like to be more involved with speed skating in BC because I am still out East in Montreal so as much as I can come back I hope to do." 

Hewitt is currently focusing on her studies in Geography out in Quebec for the next year but hopes to make her way back to BC for more coaching someday soon. 

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