Wren Acorn at 2017 NWT Speed Skating Summer Camp

Wren Acorn takes part in Canadian Junior Championships

NWT Speed Skating’s Wren Acorn finished 22nd overall, in a field of 32, on her debut at Canadian Junior Championship level.

Wren is in the first of five years of eligibility for Canadian Juniors, in which the country’s top skaters aged 14 to 18 race for places in the Canadian team for the World Junior Championships. She was the best-performing of four 14-year-olds taking part.

“I’m overjoyed with how it went, honestly,” said. “It was a really, really good competition.

“All it was supposed to be was a learning experience, and I think that’s exactly what it was. Some good accomplishments and good things in every race.”

Wren finished 18th in a 32-strong field in the 1,000m distance, 25th over 1,500m, and 22nd in the 500m sprints. “She worked her race plans to perfection,” said NWT Speed Skating coach Shane Clark.

“It was great to be able to go to this one and not have it be a tremendous deal for now,” added Wren, “when there’s not a lot of pressure. It was exciting watching older skaters.

“That’s who I want to be in a couple of years – I want to be among the top people going to Worlds.”

NWT Speed Skating appoints coaches for 2018 Arctic Winter Games

NWT Speed Skating is proud to announce Shane Clark and Jeanne Yurris as the territory’s coaching staff for the 2018 Arctic Winter Games on home ice in Fort Smith, NT.

Shane has coached the NWT’s short track speed skaters at the Arctic Winter Games since 2008, and brings more than two decades’ experience as a coach for both the Yellowknife club and at territorial level. He is also the NWT’s lead coach for the 2019 Canada Winter Games program.

Jeanne, a two-time Arctic Winter Games speed skater for the NWT, will make her competitive coaching debut. Jeanne is an assistant coach with the Special Olympics speed skating program, served as mission staff for Team NWT at the 2017 Canada Summer Games in Winnipeg, and represented the NWT as an athlete at the 2011 Canada Winter Games in Halifax.

NWT Speed Skating thanks all those who applied for their time and efforts. Further coaching positions will be assigned in the coming weeks as we prepare for an exciting start to 2018, featuring not only the Arctic Winter Games – to which speed skating returns as a sport after missing out in 2016 – but also the Canada West Championships.

How to register for 2018 Arctic Winter Games Territorial Trials



Junior Male and Junior Female: Born between July 1, 1998 and June 30, 2003
Juvenile Male and Juvenile Female: Born between July 1, 2003 and June 30, 2006

To register you must:

1. Visit Sport North’s website and complete the registration form

2. Pay the $100 registration fee to Sport North

3. Sign and return a waiver to Sport North

All three steps must be completed before midnight at the end of Friday, December 15. Chaperones intending to travel to Territorial Trials must also register. NWTASSA is in the process of selecting its AWG coaches, and NWTASSA will manage registration and payment for coaches.

If you have any queries about registration, payment or waivers, contact Sport North’s head office or your Sport North regional coordinator:

Mackenzie & South Slave Region
Val Gendron
867.695.3310 or 867.688.0496

Jeff O’Keefe

Yellowknife Region
Bill Othmer

Beaufort Delta & Sahtu Region
Colin Pybus


Before registering, please read NWTASSA’s athlete selection policy for the 2018 Arctic Winter Games and Sport North’s Handbook for the Arctic Winter Games and associated Territorial Trials.

Reminder: Territorial Trials take place in Yellowknife from January 18-20, 2018. Travel is arranged by Sport North; local accommodation can be arranged by the Yellowknife club and NWTASSA on request once registration is complete.

Arctic Winter Games 2018: Call for Coaches

NWT Speed Skating invites applications for two coaching positions with Team NWT at the 2018 Arctic Winter Games.

This is an exciting opportunity to join Team NWT at a home Arctic Winter Games in Fort Smith! NWT speed skaters are often associated with success at the Arctic Winter Games but, more than anything, this event is about providing a focused, fun and memorable multi-sport games experience to our young athletes – and our coaches, too.

Please download the NWT Speed Skating Selection Policy and 2018 Arctic Winter Games Technical Package before applying.

Coaches must:

• be Canadian citizens or permanent residents, or eligible for and able to demonstrate active pursuit of Canadian citizenship;
• have been continuously resident in the Northwest Territories for at least six months prior to the start of the event for which they are selected; or
• if attending school or otherwise temporarily resident outside the NWT, be able to demonstrate to NWTASSA’s satisfaction that the territory remains their home residence;
• be members in good standing with NWTASSA;
• agree to be bound by the NWTASSA Code of Conduct and any other applicable (e.g. Team NWT) code of conduct;
• once selected, hold regular training sessions and maintain communication with athletes representing the Northwest Territories.

Applications will be considered by NWTASSA according to the following criteria:

• Speed skating qualifications achieved to date;
• Experience as a coach, manager and/or athlete;
• Active involvement with speed skating in the NWT;
• Fulfilment of all eligibility criteria in this policy and the 2018 AWG Technical Package.

To apply:

Coaches must use this form to apply online, or may print the form and submit a paper version to NWT Speed Skating, Box 2664, Yellowknife, X1A 2P9.

Successful applicants are expected to be available to coach at both the Arctic Winter Games (Fort Smith, March 18-24, 2018, excluding travel days) and Territorial Trials (Yellowknife, January 18-20, 2018, excluding travel days).

Applications must be received by 10pm mountain time on Wednesday, December 6, 2017.

Michael Gilday enters NWT Sport Hall of Fame

Sochi Olympian Michael Gilday has become the first speed skater inducted into the Northwest Territories Sport Hall of Fame.

The 30-year-old won two world titles as part of Canada’s relay team and competed at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Russia before retiring later that year.

At a ceremony on Saturday he became the fourth Olympian to enter the NWT’s Hall of Fame, following biathlete Robin Clegg and cross-country ski sisters Sharon Firth and Shirley Firth-Larsson.

“It’s an honour and it’s unexpected,” said Gilday. “There’s an endless list of people I want to thank, especially the sport community in the Territories and the community around Yellowknife Speed Skating Club.

“I have had the pleasure of skating with so many amazing people who have challenged me, and who are lifetime friends.”

Gilday took up short track speed skating in Yellowknife before training for the majority of his career at the Olympic Oval in Calgary.

He missed out on selection for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games by mere hundredths of a second, but returned four years later to successfully earn a place on Canada’s team for the 2014 Games.

In the interim, Gilday won relay world titles at the Sheffield World Championships of 2011 and again two years later in Debrecen, Hungary.

Among other career highlights are 15 gold ulus at the Arctic Winter Games and the setting of two world records, one of which still stands: the record set by Canada’s men’s relay team at the Olympic Oval in October 2012.

Having retired from the sport, Michael Gilday will still play a central role in Canadians’ enjoyment of short track speed skating at the forthcoming Pyeongchang Olympic Winter Games, in February 2018, as a CBC Sports analyst.

Hannah Clark and Wren Acorn

Two Yellowknife skaters reach their first National Championships

NWT Speed Skating congratulates Yellowknife duo Wren Acorn and Hannah Clark on qualifying for their first National Championship appearances.

The two skaters took part in last weekend’s National Qualifier at Calgary’s Olympic Oval – a four-day event in which skaters from across the country compete for positions at national junior and senior events.

Twenty-three-year-old Clark, who trains at the University of Calgary, finished ninth overall in a field of 60 participants.

Acorn, 14 years old and making her debut at this level, finished 30th in the same field of 60.

Those results see both skaters advance to their respective national junior and senior events. Acorn will race in her first Canadian Junior Championships in Saguenay, QC, next month, in her first year of eligibility. She joins Clark and Jill Gilday among NWT skaters to have recently reached the Junior Championships, though doing so at her first attempt as a 14-year-old is exceptional.

“Wren joins a line of successful NWT performance skaters,” said coach Shane Clark. “That’s an amazing accomplishment, doing it in her first year of eligibility.”

Clark moves on to January’s Canadian Senior Selections, in Sherbrooke, QC, having capped her weekend with an appearance in the National Qualifier’s 1,000m A Final – where she placed fifth.

“Hannah had a great weekend,” said Shane Clark, her father. “She had a really good Thursday and even though she probably didn’t get to where she wanted on Friday and Saturday, she still had amazing results for ninth overall.

“That qualifies her for the Canadian Senior Championships and it’s the first time Hannah has qualified for those.”

Clark will be facing Canada’s top two-dozen skaters, outside the five named to the Canadian Olympic team, at that event.

NWT Speed Skating introduces new Code of Conduct

NWT Speed Skating has introduced a revamped code of conduct, harassment policy and disciplinary code.

Athletes, coaches, officials, volunteers and staff are now able to access a guide to expectations regarding the conduct and behaviour of all NWT Speed Skating members.

NWT Speed Skating is committed to providing a sport environment characterized by excellence, fairness, integrity, open communication, and mutual respect. We also acknowledge our core responsibility to keep our members safe and provide a means for them to report concerns.

For more information on NWT Speed Skating’s code of conduct and other policies, click here.

NWT speed skaters at the 2015 Canada Winter Games

NWT Speed Skating appoints 2019 Canada Winter Games coaching staff

Shane Clark and Kerry Egan have been selected to lead NWT Speed Skating’s preparations for the 2019 Canada Winter Games.

Clark returns as coach having overseen the territory’s impressive run at the 2015 Canada Winter Games, in which the NWT’s female 3,000m relay team reached their final and finished fourth. Egan will act as the team manager.

In the weeks to come, athletes interested in selection for the 2019 Canada Winter Games – to be held in Red Deer, Alberta – will be asked to sign initial letters of commitment and begin working to a dedicated training program. Information regarding this opportunity will be distributed through club coaches.

Register now for our summer camp!

Registration for NWT Speed Skating’s summer camp is open until June 30, 2017.

The camp runs from August 23-27 in Yellowknife, with experienced coaches providing young skaters with a mix of on-ice and dry-land training each day.

This year, NWT Speed Skating is heavily subsidizing the cost – so summer camp is cheaper than ever!

Group 1 skaters pay $65 total for the five days. Skaters in Group 1 are usually aged 12-17, have some competition experience, and are working towards being a competitive skater at southern events.

Group 2 skaters pay $50 total for the five days. Skaters in Group 2 are usually aged 9-13, have less or no competition experience, and are focusing on developing their skills.


Register here!


If you are unsure which of the two groups is the most appropriate for your child, check with their club coach for advice. If still unsure, contact NWT Speed Skating and we will make a recommendation on your behalf.

Please have your payment ready – in cash or as a cheque payable to NWTASSA – when you drop off your child on the opening day of the camp.

For any other questions about the camp, contact NWT Speed Skating and we’ll be in touch as soon as we can.

Registration closes on June 30. No late registrations will be accepted and there are no refunds available for cancellations after this date.