East Penn Speedskating is the September Feature Club

by Caitlin Moyer

September’s Feature Club of the Month is East Penn Speedskating Club, a short track ice speed skating club based in eastern Pennsylvania. Located at Power Play Rinks in Exton, Pennsylvania, East Penn has members from not only its home state, but also New Jersey and Delaware. The club caters to those who skate for leisure, fitness and competition, accommodating a wide range of skaters of all ages and abilities, from absolute beginners through Olympic athletes.

East Penn was founded 24 years ago, in the fall of 1997, by Hence Bollinger, an area businesswoman, cyclist and speed skating enthusiast who teamed up with Leslie Corbett Bader, local long track skater and member of the 1988 Olympic Team. Bollinger used her business sense to acquire ice time, safety mats and club skates and, combined with the coaching and competition experience of Bader, the club was born.

The Club’s head coach is Olympian Kyle Carr, who has had an exciting and successful career as both a short track and in-line speed skater.

Carr was a member of the US World Cup Teams each year from 2010-2013 and won bronze at the World Championships in 2011. In 2014, he finished fourth overall at the Olympic Trials and skated for Team USA at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi. 

As a member of the US World Cup Team every year from 2010–13, he also won a Bronze at the World Championships in 2011.

The club currently has 16 members and saw its membership double in size during the pandemic. In addition, East Penn has added a weekly strength coaching session before its ice slot to further enhance its program, as well as more ice time. It also looks to add even more ice time next season.  

Coach Carr and team member Penny Romanelli have donated their time by teaching a “Try Speedskating” clinic during the local rink’s “Learn to Skate” program, with the goal of getting new skaters to move directly from the Learn to Skate program into the sport. 

“It has been exciting to watch the team grow and become more competitive over the last year.  We look forward to adding even more new members to the club,” said club president Bill Romanelli.

To learn more about the East Penn Speedskating Club,
click here.