Pair of speed skating events invading Abbotsford this month

Short Track Provincials, CanWest Championships coming to town in March

Abbotsford will be a speed skating hub for the month of March.

A pair of big events are set to take over local rinks starting on Saturday with the B.C. Short Track Speed Skating Championships.

The event, hosted by the Matsqui Blades Speed Skating club, also runs on Sunday at the Abbotsford Recreation Centre. Athletes from 11 years old to Masters age will be vying for age group titles. Organizers are anticipating 150 skaters from across B.C. with many travelling from the north and Vancouver Island for the weekend.

Local skaters to watch are Mission’s Asher Barnsdale looking to repeat his gold medal performance from last season in boys 14 while Clara Johnson of the host Matsqui Blades will be aiming for the top of the podium in girls 12 division. The Blades will also be looking to Raminjeet Chauhan in girls 14 age class. Chauhan also recently finished fourth in U16 3000 metes mixed relay speed skating and seventh in U16 500 metres female speed skating at the B.C. Winter Games. Special Olympian Paige Norton will also compete in the senior category.

Athletes in the U17 age group will be vying for positions on Team B.C. for the Canada West Short Track Speed Skating Championships to be held on March 17 and 18 at the Abbotsford Centre. This competition brings the best young skaters from B.C. to Manitoba and the Territories together in the first national event of their careers.

“Athletes at the U17 age are needing an exposure to competition from skaters they haven’t raced before,” said Bruce Wenting from the Mission Racers Speed Skating Club in a press release. “They have competed in many inter-club competitions where they are familiar with the strengths and tactics of most of their competitors but in this meet, many will be having to race against unfamiliar athletes.”

Opening ceremonies for the CanWest Championships kick off at 9 a.m. on March 17 with local dignitaries welcoming 125 athletes and their families to our region for this free admission event. Medal ceremonies will take place at the conclusion of each day’s racing.

It’s the second consecutive year that the CanWest Championships have been hosted in Abbotsford. Prior to last year, Abbotsford had not hosted a national speed skating competition since 2001.

For more information, visit

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Voters in Saanich North and the Islands, here lining up outside Sidney’s Mary Winspear Centre on the first day of advanced voting, are among the provincial leaders in getting in their votes early, with some 20 per cent (10,174) of eligible voters have already cast their ballots. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
The polls are now closed

B.C.’s snap election is over, now it’s time to count the ballots

NDP headquarters on election night, Oct. 24, 2020. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
ELECTION 2020: Live blog from B.C. party headquarters

BC NDP projected to win majority government – but celebrations will look different this election

Simon Gibson watching the vote count at the Best Western Hotel in Mission. With 98 polls reporting, Gibson leads NDP challenger Alexis by 188 votes. / Kevin Mills photo.
Abbotsford-Mission riding too close to call, mail-in ballots will decide

98 polls reporting: BC Liberal incumbent Simon Gibson leads NDP challenger Pam Alexis by 188 votes

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau outlines her party's climate action platform at Nanaimo's Vancouver Island Conference Centre earlier this month. (News Bulletin file photo)
Green leader Furstenau declared victor in her home riding on Vancouver Island

Cowichan Valley voters elect freshly minted party leader for her second term

Simon Gibson watching the vote count come in at the Best Western Hotel in Mission. Kevin Mills photo.
Abbotsford-Mission riding one of the closest races in the province

BC Liberal incumbent Simon Gibson leading by under 100 votes

(Image by Ulrike Leone from Pixabay)
QUIZ: A celebration of colour

Fall in British Columbia is a time to enjoy a spectrum of vivid colours

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Mounties looking for teen boy ‘unlawfully at large’ from Riverview psychiatric hospital

Nolan Godron left the hospital, located at 2721 Lougheed Highway in Coquitlam, without consent on Saturday

The Canadian border is pictured at the Peace Arch Canada/USA border crossing in Surrey, B.C. Friday, March 20, 2020. More than 4.6 million people have arrived in Canada since the border closed last March and fewer than one-quarter of them were ordered to quarantine while the rest were deemed “essential” and exempted from quarantining. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Majority of international travellers since March deemed ‘essential’, avoid quarantine

As of Oct. 20, 3.5 million travellers had been deemed essential, and another 1.1 million were considered non-essential

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

BC Hydro map showing where power has been knocked out is dotted with over a dozen outages. (BC Hydro map screenshot)
Thousands without power in Lower Mainland on election day

One outage in Langley and Surrey is affecting over 4,000 customers

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

Most Read