Lakewood Speedskating Club is the June Feature Club of the Month
by Caitlin Moyer
Located in Lakewood, Ohio, Lakewood Club has been giving children and adults the opportunity to learn and practice their sport since the early 1940s at the Winterhurst Ice Rink.
Like many clubs, Lakewood’s goal is to provide a venue for learning how to speed skate and, also, to teach some life lessons along the way. It is the hope of the club to help develop not only strong skaters, but also help the skaters develop good character, strong sportsmanship and good health.The Lakewood Skating Club has a long history of success, producing champions as well as fine individuals. With 35 skaters, including nine new skaters who joined in the past year, ranging in age from 6 to 70s, Lakewood Club truly is a club for everyone. The club has nurtured the talents of numerous National and North American Champions, over 15 National Team members, many more World and Olympic Team members.
Lakewood Club currently has four coaches: Olympians Julie Koons and Katie Marquard; Joe Balbo, a current competing skater; and Dennis Marquard, a Level 2 coach. However, the club wouldn’t function without the help of the dedicated parents who time, start, and lap count for club races, assist in getting the mats on and off the ice for all practices, work on the club’s website and Facebook Page and assist with miscellaneous other duties throughout the year.
This sense of community is what kept Lakewood Club safe and active, even after forgoing most of their usual summer ice sessions last year and not having meets to train for this past season. While Lakewood was eventually able to continue its practices while adhering to the necessary COVID-19 safety protocols, without meets to train for the club had to get creative in finding other ways to motivate the Lakewood skaters.
“We held Club Races on a monthly basis as we have done for a number of years. Each skater was assigned to a group of skaters with similar skill levels at the beginning of the year and remained in the same group through the season. Races were held at our usual Sunday practices, with each group skating three distances,” said Coach Dennis Marquard. “This year points were computed and trophies were handed out at the last practice of the year. All the skaters were also timed on a flying one lap so they could compare their times throughout the season and measure their improvement.”
And, while Lakewood Club loves to see its members grow and advance their skills, they make sure to let each skater know they are proud of their accomplishments both on and off the ice. "It is important that the skaters learn the value of hard work, dedication, and motivation; life skills they can take with them when off the ice," stated Coach Julie Koons. "We try to help all skaters reach their potential."
To learn more about the Lakewood Speedskating Club, click here.