Run entirely by volunteers, Aldwych Speed Club is an ice speed skating club based in Guildford that attracts members from the local community, London and the South East of England. Founded in 1908, the club has trained many skaters who have competed internationally and in the Winter Olympics.
£10,000 Target Achieved!
With your wonderfully generous support we have achieved our £10,000 target.
The funds will be used to replace income lost in 2020/21 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, pay for the training of new coaches and the replacement of worn equipment. They will also contribute towards the cost of new upgraded barrier pads for training and competitions at Guildford Spectrum Ice Rink. The new design of barrier pad will provide increased protection for our skaters who will be able to achieve greater speeds safely and perform at higher levels in international competitions. Already winning medals at all levels, our skaters have their sights set even higher!
Thank you to all our Supporters, to Sport England and to Crowdfunder.
Comprised of girls and boys, women and men, beginners to elite skaters.
The club is proud to have seen skaters such as Nicky Gooch, Sarah Lindsay, Joanna (Williams) Eley, Debbie Palmer, Leon Flack and Matt Rowe come through its ranks before competing at the Winter Olympics.
The Next Generation
The Club has many young members who want to improve their skills, make progress and have fun with their friends while training.
Masters - The Young At Heart Still Compete!
In Great Britain, Masters are skaters over the age of 35. One of our Masters holds two of the three British Masters Records and we have members who skate into their 70's. Several of our older members compete internationally. In 2020 three Aldwych Master skaters competed in the Winter World Masters Games in the over 45's category winning two bronze medals. You can start speed skating at any age!
British Short Track Championships
Aldwych Speed Club is usually one of the best represented at the British Short Track Championships. In January last year 24 Aldwych skaters competed at The British and in 11 categories the club won 13 medals, three of which were gold.
Youth Olympic Games
In January 2020, two Aldwych skaters, Theo Collins and Olivia Weedon, represented Great Britain in the Youth Olympic Games, both gaining medals! We must continue to provide the opportunity for new skaters to come up through the ranks in this amazing but underfunded sport.
Long Track Speed Skating
In addition to short track skating a number of members compete internationally in long track. The club has won the trophy for Most Successful Club at the last four British Long Track Championships and we currently have one senior national champion and two at Junior World Cup level. Peter Riches has skated at eight Junior World Cups and three Junior World Championships. He set the fastest 1500m time in the world for his age category in the 2017-18 season and holds four British Junior records. Alex Snowdon is the current British U14 champion and holds three British U14 records. Alex Snowdon and Theo Collins represented Great Britain at last season’s Viking Race (European Youth Championships) in the Netherlands.
A Coach's View of the Club
As Aldwych Head Coach from 2002 to 2020, I have seen youngsters from the age of five turning into young racers, with their enthusiasm spreading to siblings, parents and grandparents. These young racers have become dedicated athletes, gaining trophies along the way, with some being selected for the national development squad. Many of our skaters return to the Club with their children and re-enter the sport in later life. Older members may also come from other sports, adapt to the short track training regimes and go on to compete nationally and internationally. Each year, many of our skaters, including some over 70, compete in the British Championships. The advice from our older, more experienced, members gives the youngsters valuable support as they aim to emulate or exceed the achievements of their mentors.
Loss of Income
COVID-19 has resulted in extensive closures of the ice rink and when it is open has limited the number of skaters who can be on the ice at any one time due to social distancing rules. This, along with reduced membership fees, has significantly reduced our income. In addition due to COVID-19 we have also been unable to run our normal competitions with our raffles and other fundraising events.
Training New Coaches
Due to COVID-19, there is a need for more coaches to be on the ice, to work with smaller groups of skaters. In addition, one of the club coaches is currently shielding. We are very fortunate to have members willing to take on the coaching responsibility but this is yet another cost that we have to meet.
Had 2020 been a normal year, the Club’s reserves would have been sufficient to purchase new barrier pads, to keep our skaters safe on the ice. This fundraising will help towards the purchase of new pads.
Thank you for your generous support. Keep safe everyone. See you at Guildford Spectrum as soon as possible!