The numbers may be down, but that won’t dampen the enthusiasm of the duo of Theo Papadakis and Carter Prince, as the pair prepare to represent the Sudbury Sprinters at the 2016 Provincial B & C Speed Skating Championships in Milton.
Just twelve years old but already in his fourth year with the local club, Papadakis has enjoyed something of a breakthrough season, opting to become more serious about the sport. “I figured I like skating a lot, so I figured I would go to more competitions,” suggested the grade 7 student at Macdonald-Cartier.
“My crossovers are better, and my straightaways – I just have better form. Occasionally, I put one arm behind my back on the crossovers, but not usually,” he continued. “If I really want to go faster, then I really swing my arms.”
Papadakis is focused on achieving personal best times in Milton, a target that he shares with Prince, a competitive kayaker during the summer months. The 15 year old grade 10 student at St Charles College transitioned to speed skating just over a year ago, having grown up playing hockey through much of his youth.
“Learning the crossovers was the hardest part, because the blades are so much longer,” said Prince. “I had to learn to lift my legs up more, just to get that natural transition into it. You want to be really low, compared to hockey.”
“You need to be at a certain angle, and you need to hold that position for the whole race, which can be difficult,” he added. “You get tired.”
The Sudbury Sprinters will be hosting an “Open House” on March 22nd (5:00 until 7:00 p.m.) and March 26th (5:00 until 7:00 p.m.), with both events taking place at the Gerry McCrory Countryside Sports Complex.
Anyone interested in giving speed skating a shot, is asked to bring along their own helmet, knee/shin pads, neck protector and gloves. For further information, kindly contact club head coach Jillian Nadjiwon at “email@example.com”