Kamloops Long Blade Speed Skating members skate at Canadian Junior Speed Skating Championships in Winnipeg

Image Credit: Contributed

From February 5 to 7, two local speed skaters, Sylvie Lloyd and Thom Keijzer represented the Kamloops Long Blades at the Canadian Junior Speed Skating Championships in Winnipeg.  Both skaters were at the national championships, which require qualifying times, for the first time.

Keijzer raced in 500m, 1000m, 1500m and 5000m distances, as well as the mass start.  Lloyd competed in 500m, 1000m, and 1500m.

Lloyd skated outdoor personal bests in the 500m, 1000m and 1500m, while Keijzer had 500m and 1000m outdoor personal bests, as well as his fastest opening ever for the 500m distance.

While Lloyd has competed outside in a Canadian winter since she was 4, it was Keijzer’s first time racing outside in temperatures as low as -13C, blowing snow, and winds up to 20 km/h.  Keijzer is a dual Dutch-Canadian citizen, who grew up in The Netherlands, and moved to Canada in August 2015 to attend TRU and to speed skate in Canada.

The two skaters showed well despite not having an oval to practise on regularly.  They developed their skills practising short track, as well as a trip to an oval in Fort St John and Calgary every four to six weeks. 

The majority of the skaters at the championship are part of clubs which practice at ovals such as Calgary, Quebec City, Regina, Winnipeg and Halifax.

For more information contact Kamloops Long Blades Head Coach Sandi Vyse, 250-851-1481


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