Keeping our kids busy during Rochester’s cold winter months is not a problem in our household. Of all the winter activities we’ve exposed them to, being on ice seems to be their favorite place to be. Speed skating has quickly become a fun family activity for our entire household, and our three children enjoyed participating at the 2018 Jack Byrne Memorial Short Track Championship in Syracuse.
Our three skaters went to Syracuse along with 12 other members of the Rochester Speed Skating Team on Jan. 20. The team did very well as a group, with each skater being placed in a talent-based grouping rather than by age or gender. Morgan, 10, our oldest child, earned a gold medal in her group; Josh, 8, earned a silver; and Cameron, 5, also earned a silver. They clearly had fun and even made some new friends from the other clubs.
We found the RSST after Josh had completed a “Learned to Ice Skate” program in Webster, yet didn’t want to go on to play hockey. A quick internet search show results for speed skating, and I found a YouTube video to spark his interest. After signing up for a four-lesson “Learn to Speed Skate,” Josh was hooked. Our other two kids watched him skate enough that they wanted a shot at it, and they joined. In fact, the skating is a great compliment to Cameron’s ice hockey skills.
The RSST has been in existence for many decades and is always open for new skaters. At one time, RSST had over 300 members and was a competitive powerhouse in the world of speed skating, having turned out many incredible athletes, including Olympic Gold Medalist Cathy Turner. The team meets three times a week for practice and travels to competitions in Buffalo, Saratoga and Lake Placid to name a few. To learn more, check the team out on the web at rochesterspeedskating.wordpress.com.