- How are the skaters divided into training groups?
Skating members of the club are evaluated at the beginning of the season and grouped by the coaches. The following factors are considered during the review of each skater:
- skating skills
- size of skater
- size of groups
- age of skater
- speed of skater
- on-ice experience (safety and awareness)
Note: As a skater progresses he or she will be automatically moved into the appropriate group.
The club offers the following 7 skater groups:
Group 1: Advanced (Train to Train Post PHV* and Learn to Compete)
Group 2: Intermediate (Train-to-Train Pre PHV*)
Group 3: Development (Learn to Train)
Group 4: Advanced Adult (Active for Life)
Group 5: Novice (Fundamentals)
Group 6: Development Adults (Active for Life)
Group 7: Development Youth (Active for Life)
Long Term Athlete Development (LTAD):
FUNdamentals (girls 6-8, boys 6-9)
Learn to Train (girls 8-11, boys 9-12)
Train to Train (girls 11-15, boys 12-16)
Train to Compete (girls 15-21, boys 16-23)
Train to Win (girls 18+, boys 19+)
Active for Life (any age participant)
*PHV = peak height velocity
- What age should my child be to start speed skating?
We recommend that skaters be at least 6 years of age and comfortable on skates before joining the TSSC. Speed skating is best enjoyed by skaters who have previously learned some of the basics of skating on hockey or figure skates. Although the club does not offer the most basic “learn to skate” programs (for those who have never skated), we do offer a “learn to speed skate” program, which is oriented toward skaters who have basic skills. Certainly, you do not need to have “good technique” before you come – we can help you develop that.
- How can I get involved with the club?
Volunteers are always welcome! TSSC is a not-for-profit club that is run by volunteers. All of our executive members run the club in their spare time. We encourage all TSSC members and families to help out in daily activities such as helping others try on skates, setting up safety mats before practices, answering questions, etc. Contact us and let us know how you can help.
- How do I care for my speed skates after each practice?
Here’s a how-to guide:
Always cover the blades with skate guards when the skates are worn and used anywhere other than on the ice. This includes putting the skates on and taking them off, walking in an arena, etc. The purpose of this is to protect the bottoms and edges of the blades from damage or abrasion caused by sand and other materials on the floor of the arena, and also to maintain the sharpness of the blade.
Always dry the blades soon after coming off the ice. Use any absorbent material to do this, for example, a cloth or paper towel. The purpose of this and the next two procedures is to prevent the blade from rusting. Hard steel is particularly prone to rusting so you must be diligent in preventing it.
Never leave a guard on a wet blade or put a wet guard onto a dry blade.
After drying, store the blades either uncovered or in contact with an absorbent material, for example, a pair of soft cloth skate covers, old hockey socks or resting on a towel.
If you do detect rust on the blades, consult a Club coach or other official before attempting any remedy.
Report any loose blades, screws, brackets, broken laces, etc. to a Club official.
If the blades are uncovered during storage and transportation, take care to prevent the blades from banging into each other or into the other boot. Either action will clearly cause damage.
Never put speed skates in an automatic type of skate sharpener. Speed skates are to be sharpened by hand only by Club officials or by you, only if you have received proper instruction. The blades are sharpened by hand on special equipment (i.e. Jig and sharpening stone).
- How to I sharpen my Speed Skates?
Speed skates are sharpened by hand using a sharpening stone and a jig. Please see a Board member for more information.
The nature of Speed Skating means that you do not need to wear a lot of heavy equipment, but some basic equipment is necessary at each skating level.
Learn to Speed Skate (LTSS) Equipment
You will need speed skates, of course, but skate rental is included in the LTSS programs. You’ll also need the following mandatory protective equipment for the LTSS program:
helmet (a bike or hockey helmet is fine for LTSS)
gloves (ideally cut-proof but leather is fine)
neck guard (hockey neck guard is fine for LTSS)
knee pads (in-line skating or volleyball knee pads are fine)
shin pads (soccer style shin pads are acceptable)
Neck guards, knee pads, and shin pads may be purchased at Canadian Tire, for example.
Club Skate Rental
The TSSC maintains an extensive collection of rental speed skates that are suitable for beginner and intermediate level skaters.
Regular Members Equipment
In addition to the basic LTSS level of equipment, Regular Members and Competitive Skaters need the following:
ankle guards (mandatory for members)
athletic training clothing (not required but no loose-fitting clothing please).
Competitive Members Equipment
neck guard with bib – bib style required for competitive racing
Shatter-resistant eyeglasses with a strap (recommended for competitive racing)
Many competitive skaters also wear Dynema or Kevlar cut-resistant clothing.
TSSC Team Suits and Training Jackets
The TSSC regularly orders Club Competition Suits and Training Jackets. Please inquire with the registrar when the next order will be placed.
A TSSC Equipment swap is held every year on Registration Day in September.