Author Archives: chris acton

This post intends to provide an update to the BCSSA membership on the plans for returning to speed skating practice. viaSport publicly released their sport-sector Return to Sport Guidelines on Monday, after review by the provincial government and WorkSafe BC. This represents a key step in the restart of organized sport, which is allowed under enhanced protocols in Phase 2 of BC’s Restart Plan.

Each Provincial Sport Organization, including BCSSA, is responsible for developing their own guidelines/plan, which meet or exceed the requirements in the viaSport Return to Sport Guidelines. The BCSSA Return to Practice Guidelines draft has been updated to ensure compliance with the recently-released sport sector guidelines, and are with a working group for review. Following the review of the working group, the BCSSA Return to Practice Guidelines must be approved by the BCSSA Board of Directors before the guidelines are shared with member clubs.

Each member club will subsequently be responsible for developing their own plan, following the BCSSA Return to Practice Guidelines and in collaboration with their facility (or facilities) to align with site-specific guidelines. The Board of Directors/Executive for each club must then approve the club’s plan.

Until this time, clubs are advised that they should not be meeting for in-person training of any type. Although this process seems onerous, it is in the best interest of our members to ensure a safe and successful return to group speed skating training in BC.

Any questions should be directed to BCSSA Technical Director Chris Acton (

The virtual Academy Speed Skating Excellence Retreat will be hosted Saturday May 30th. Skaters, parents, coaches and officials are invited to spend an hour with SSC NextGen Coach Jeff Scholten to learn about national programs, followed by two hours with BCSSA Technical Director Chris Acton and Provincial Coaches discussing season planning for the upcoming season. The Season Planning session will be a combination of theory and practical (dryland).

Registration is open NOW and is limited to 25 skaters. Act now!

BCSSA is looking for two passionate and qualified individuals to serve as our LT Provincial Coach and ST Provincial Coach for the 2020-2021 season. The Provincial Coaches will have responsibilities related to Academy, Team BCSSA and the inaugural year of GenBC (more information available here).

The LT Provincial Coach posting is available here, and the ST Provincial Coach posting is available here. Applications should be submitted via email to the BCSSA Technical Director Chris Acton by Friday April 24th at 5pm Pacific.

In light of facility closures and restrictions on social gatherings, athletes around the world have had to find creative ways to train from home. BCSSA has decided to release the Academy Summer program, initially run during the summer of 2018, as a resource for all of our members to access. The Academy Summer program can be accessed here.

For skaters looking for a more personalized and detailed program, the Richmond Olympic Oval Performance Department is offering an HP Online Program. Registration for the full month of April is available here. Weekly registration is also available; please contact Nicole Garrido for details.

We are disappointed to announce that the 2020 BC Short Track Championships scheduled for March 14-15, 2020, have been cancelled.  Today’s updates from the Provincial Government leaves us believing that this is the best decision we could make for the athletes and for all of us who support them.

We wanted to get this information out immediately but there will be more information coming with regards to entry fee refunds.
All remaining Speed Skating Canada events, including Canadian Youth Short Track – West Championships, have now also been cancelled.

Important reminder- skaters wishing to compete for Team BCSSA @ CYST must complete their online Intent to Compete form by 5pm Pacific on Sunday March 8th. Please note that this deadline is prior to the BCST Championship.

Other Team BCSSA @ CYST timelines:

  • The number of Team BCSSA @ CYST positions available should be announced by Speed Skating Canada by Wednesday March 11th, and will be communicated out as soon as possible
  • All skaters with a Team BCSSA pool suit must return it to Chris Acton by the end of the day Saturday March 14th at BCST Championship
  • Skaters who have submitted their Intent to Compete must attend a mandatory (brief) Team BCSSA meeting on Saturday March 14th, immediately following the conclusion of racing
  • Skaters who have submitted their Intent to Compete should meet with Chris Acton on Sunday March 15th to be sized for a Team BCSSA pool suit
  • Team BCSSA @ CYST will be formally announced during the awards ceremony Sunday March 15th at the BCST Championship

The qualification period for the BCST Championship has now concluded. L2T and T2T skaters qualified based on cumulative Cup Points from the BC Cup ST competitions or based on qualifying times skated this season. The full list of eligible L2T and T2T skaters is available here. Junior, Senior and C4L Masters skaters qualified based on qualifying time(s) skated this season.

All qualified skaters must now register for the BCST Championship. Clubs submit one entry per club, using the club registration spreadsheet and the individual entry form. The registration deadline is Thursday March 5th at 11pm Pacific. Clubs must also submit the name(s) of their club coach(es) who will be at the BCST Championship on the club registration spreadsheet. Club coaches must meet the Minimum Coaching Qualifications Policy; please note that there is an opportunity for mentorship/ exemptions.

Any questions should be directed to Chris Acton (