Skaters of all ages and abilities recently headed to the Elfstedenhal in Leeuwarden for a special summer Long Track camp.
Here, the group were able to immerse themselves in the exciting sport of speed skating, and for many it was their first experience with Long Track.
Running between, August 26th – 28, the camp welcomed a wide variety of skating abilities, from beginners to international athletes.
A number of attendees were Short Track Speed Skaters trying out Long Track for the first time, and were able to learn all about the differences between the two while they practiced.
The camp included both on and off-ice sessions which skaters got stuck into across the weekend; the aim being to bring UK Long Track Skaters together and introduce new people to the sport.
During the camp, the group were joined by various professionals and athletes who lead educational seminars, workshops and talks about their own experiences.
The speakers offered information about the sport and tips to help UK Long Trackers develop their skills and confidence.
Dutch World and Olympic Champion Speed Skater, Michel Mulder, brought along his medals and shared his story to motivate and inspire the group.
On the final day of the camp former Gymnast come Sports Psychologist Berber van den Berg from Mentaal Sterk, took the group through many interesting techniques.
Berber lead skaters through methods to keep their mind focused and minimise distractions, touching upon relaxation techniques and the importance of mindset.
Camp attendees were also able to learn about sports processes and procedures at elite level, as UK Long Track athlete Tom Fell gave a talk on doping in sport, what to expect in doping controls and how the system works.
Phil Brojaka, Coach and International short and long track Speed Skater, also took skaters through a skate sharpening workshop, explaining how equipment maximises performance and safety.
The UK Development Team were also present along with the International team, Team Frysk. Team Frysk is based in Friesland, The Netherlands, and offers a development pathway to ensure speed skaters reach their highest potential.
UK Long Track Skaters Ellia and Gemma train with Team Frysk regularly, with Sam Airey also joining ahead of the new season.
Sam, Ellia and Gemma train with Siep Hoekstra and Team GB Coach Phil Brojaka. While UK Skater Cornelius Kersten is now basing his training in Calgary ahead of the World Cups, where he hopes to qualify for the Olympics.
The team have waved off the summer with the camp, which provided opportunity for young people to immerse themselves into the exciting sport of Long Track.
The event no doubt left attendees with a new-found appreciation for the ice sport, and perhaps inspired many to strive for similar goals.
As the autumn - and with it the new Long Track season - approaches, we’d like to congratulate UK Long Track for an incredibly successful summer camp. If anyone is interested in trying out Long track, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org