The Blondeau-Johnston family — Catriona (left)

The Blondeau-Johnston family — Catriona (left)

Speed skating a family affair

Speed skating gives family chance to spend quality time together three days a week.

Every Saturday morning the Blondeau-Johnston family packs their skating gear into their bags, loads the car and heads to their 6:30 a.m. speed skating practice at the Archie Browning Arena in Esquimalt.

After the hour-long practice is over, they pile into the car again and head to their home in Metchosin. It is routine for the family of four — Chris, Jane and their two children Morgan, 13, and Catriona, 11, who also practice on Tuesday and Thursday nights.

The sport has become a family affair (they are known as the Von Trapp family of skaters) since joining the Esquimalt Speed Skating Club two years ago.

After a couple of free practices, they decided to come as a family. Unlike some sports where parents drive their children and sit in the bleachers and watch, Chris and Jane were looking for sports in which the entire family could participate.

“I feel it’s important for our kids to see that mom and dad can be beginners at something too. We all started as beginners and we’ve moved and progressed together over the last year-and-a-half or so,” said Chris, who moved to Victoria from Quebec 25 years ago. “Here we all learn together.”

Practice also allows the busy family to spend some much-need time together since both parents have hectic professional lives. Chris works at Pearson College, while Jane is a realtor.

“We wouldn’t come out at 6 a.m. on Sunday morning if we didn’t think that it was worthwhile for the whole family,” Jane said. “It’s my only moment of sanity when I don’t have a phone. What’s interesting is seeing our kids and us given the opportunity to focus on one individual thing without a distraction — without TV or computers.”

Of course, there is a bit of friendly-competitiveness, especially between Morgan and Catriona who enjoy the quick pace of the sport and tease each other on-ice.

According to Ian Phillips, president of the club, speed skating is taken up by many local families as a way to spend time together.

“There’s very few sports where the entire family can participate,” he said. “With speed skating, the mom, dad and kids can come out and do their thing. It has that aspect that a lot of other sports don’t have.”

The Esquimalt Speed Skating Club is celebrating its 50th anniversary this season and are looking for new members. The first few practices are free for people thinking about joining. For more information call Phillips at 250-474-1491.

The club is also hosting an open house at the Archie Browning Arena on Nov. 17 at 6 p.m., for its anniversary, which will include a skate, food and refreshments.

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A video captured by Twitter user Teddy Jenner of a fire in Beacon Hill Park the night of Jan. 21, 2021. (Twitter/@OfftheCrosseBar)
Fire rips through tents, wooden structures in Beacon Hill Park

Emergency crews say there was no injuries in the blaze

(Black Press Media file photo)
Bylaw officers called to Saanich park for COVID-19 protocol violations on pickleball court

Raquet sport players reminded to avoid doubles play amid pandemic

Victoria police say a missing teen has been located safe. (Black Press Media file photo)
Missing teen located safe: Victoria police

Missing person alert ended for high-risk missing 14-year-old

There are many options for enjoying a meal out locally during Dine Around and Stay in Town, on now through Feb. 7. (10 Acres Commons)
Dine Around Stay in Town Victoria carries added importance during pandemic

Special menu items for eat in or takeout/delivery, staycation deals available through Feb. 7

Central Saanich installed a temporary portable along Lochside Trail near Michell’s Farm Market and remains in discussion with the Capital Regional District about finding what Mayor Ryan Windsor called a ‘permanent solution’ to ensuring washroom access at the popular location. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Central Saanich in talks with CRD about ‘permanent’ washroom facility near Lochside Trail

The municipality installed a temporary portable washroom near Michell’s Farm Market last week

Businesses continue to struggle under COVID-19 restrictions as the pandemic reaches the one-year mark. (B.C. government)
Another 564 COVID-19 cases, mass vaccine plan coming Friday

15 more deaths, community cluster declared in Williams Lake

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

A specialized RCMP team is investigating a suspicious trailer, which might have connections to the illicit drug trade, found abandoned outside a Cache Creek motel. (Photo credit: <em>Journal</em> files)
Police probe U-Haul trailer linked to illicit drugs left outside Cache Creek motel

Hazardous materials found inside believed to be consistent with the production of illicit drugs

Premier John Horgan leaves the podium following his first press conference of the year as he comments on various questions from the media in the Press Gallery at B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, January 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interprovincial travel restrictions a no-go, Horgan says after reviewing legal options

The B.C. NDP government sought legal advice as concerns of travel continue

Gem Lake Top, at Big White Ski Resort, seen at Jan. 8. (Big White Ski Resort)
Big White cancels $7.3M in lift tickets, accommodations due to COVID-19 orders

Since November, the ski resort has been forced to make several changes

Darlene Curylo scratched a $3M ticket, BCLC’s largest ever scratch and win prize. (BCLC)
Kelowna woman in shock after winning BCLC’s largest-ever instant-ticket prize

Darlene Curylo couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw the amount of money she’d won from a scratch ticket

While each person has different reasons for becoming homeless, a UBCO study shows they learn through their interactions with different services to perform ‘as homeless’ based on the expectations of service providers. (Contributed)
Kelowna homeless forced to ‘perform’ for resources, says UBCO study

One participant in the study said ‘It is about looking homeless, but not too homeless’

Aquaculture employee from Vancouver Island, Michelle, poses with a comment that she received on social media. Facebook group Women in Canadian Salmon Farming started an online campaign #enoughisenough to highlight the harassment they were facing online after debates about Discovery Islands fish farms intensified on social media. (Submitted photo)
Female aquaculture employees report online bullying, say divisive debate has turned sexist

Vancouver Island’s female aquaculture employees start #enoughisenough to address misogynistic comments aimed at them

Most Read