Established in 2016 as a mobile skating club, the Dartmouth Crossing Speed Skating Club has since been helping those of all ages and abilities glide through winter. With over 100 skaters aged three and up participating in the Learn to Skate program each season, the club continues to grow and give skaters an edge.
While the club’s beginner programs serve as an entry point for their speed skating programs, they also teach participants basic skating skills so that they feel comfortable and confident on skates. On Tuesdays and Thursdays at the RBC Centre in Burnside, you will see the rink brimming with activity as families, adults, and kids learn to skate.
The RBC Centre makes the perfect home for the club and its many programs, with an Olympic-sized ice surface perfect for hosting competitions up to the national level and ideal for beginner programs. To help ease the financial barrier for families, the club works closely with KidSport Nova Scotia, providing families with information and support with applications to ensure they receive funding.
“From the beginning, we have worked to make our programs affordable,” said Sheila McGinn, Dartmouth Crossing Speed Skating Club President. “The program fees for our beginner programs include the use of speed skates for the program, as well as all safety equipment except for helmets, and we maintain a rental inventory of speed skates for skaters entering our speed skating programs.”
Along with the club’s Learn to Skate program, they also have an integrated Special Olympics program that averages 10 to 15 Special Olympics athletes each season. Last season, the club worked with community partners to start work on retrofitting an ice surface to become accessible for their Para Sledge Racing Speed Skating program.
The club’s growth and success would not be possible without community and partner support. Immigrant Services of Nova Scotia has been an integral partner in outreach to communities. The Government of Nova Scotia’s Communities, Culture, Tourism and Heritage Department, Sport Nova Scotia, Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM), and various HRM Councillors have been crucial in providing expertise and funding for programming and equipment.
“In 2021, our club received the Intact Insurance Club Excellence Award as the Speed Skating Canada Club of the Year in recognition of our work on inclusion,” said McGinn. “This meant a lot to us as we work hard and continue to do so as a club to make speed skating more accessible to underserved groups.”
For those interested in the Dartmouth Crossing Speed Skating Clubs programs or have inquiries, check out their website: www.dcspeedskate.ca.
The Dartmouth Crossing Speed Skating Club programming was made possible with the assistance of Sport Nova Scotia’s Sport Fund Program. For more information about how Sport Nova Scotia can help support your community sport initiative, check out our eligibility page on our website.