The Quinte Blades Speed Skating Club was formed in 1993 from the Belleville Blades; a speed skating club for Special Olympic athletes. The formation of the Belleville Blades was initiated by Lorrie Roebuck and it coached Special Olympic athletes in the sport of speed skating including athletes that participated in the Special Olympic Provincial Winter Games, Special Olympic Canadian Winter Games and the World Special Olympic Games.
In 1993, Dave and Deb Jowett had interest in forming a speed skating club in Belleville for athletes of all abilities. After meeting and skating with the Belleville Blades, an inclusive club was formed, The Quinte Blades Speed Skating Club. Today we continue to support and promote diversity by training athletes of all abilities and interest from high-level competition to fitness and recreation, with continued participation of athletes at Special Olympic events. Currently, we have members from throughout the greater Quinte Region and train at the Wally Dever arena in the Quinte Sports and Wellness Centre.
We are a non-profit organization and offer speed skating coaching and training to people of all ages and abilities. Our athletes have advanced their skating and racing techniques, achieved personal best times, set national records and won medals at meets including Provincial Championships. Our athletes have also competed at the Ontario Winter Games and represented Ontario at the Canadian and North American Championships, and in the Can-Am Cup series Competition. Our Special Olympic athletes have consistently attained impressive results with several athletes representing Ontario at the National Championships and the World Winter Special Olympic Games. In 2003, Quinte Blades Speed Skating Club successfully hosted the final round of the Can-Am Cup (sanctioned by the International Skating Union) that featured many of the top intermediate and senior short track skaters from Canada and the United States. This showcase event brought international-level short track speed skating to the Quinte area.
The success of the club is attributed to its membership including enthusiastic athletes, passionate coaches, dedicated volunteers and support from the municipalities, service clubs, businesses and individuals in the Quinte Area. As we move forward, we will continue to build upon the foundation of inclusion and support our athletes to set and strive to achieve their personal goals and aspirations within the sport of speed skating.