Fast and aerodynamic — speedskaters were in fine racing form during the annual Yellowknife Speed Skating Club’s Ability Meet at the Multiplex during the last weekend of November.

Skaters were donned in helmets, safety glasses, gloves, suits and sharp-as-a-tack speed skates to race around the ice surface and improve their swift performance during the day-long competition.

Jody Pellissey, coordinator for the meet, said it was the first time for many of the younger kids to participate and race in an actual competitive meet.

“It’s based on ability, so all the skaters are grouped together by their abilities so they are racing ‘like against like’, she said. “We (had) ages 17 right down to six-year-olds racing today.”

An ability meet sees every skater start in a group of their own age. By the time of their last race, each skater should be at or near the ability of the skaters they’re racing against. Age is not a factor at all when taking ability into consideration.

All of the kids practice once or twice a week and the competitive kids race three times a week, she added.

“They are working towards our next meet which is the NWT Championships in early March,” she said. “The older kids are also working towards going to competitive meets down south, in the Olympic Oval in Calgary. This year is a special year because of the 2023 Arctic Winter Games (in January) and the Canada Winter Games in February.”

All of the athletes were from Yellowknife this time; no skaters from Hay River, Inuvik or Fort Simpson were able to make the trip in.

—By Jill Westerman, Northern News Services

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