Our History

In October 1975, the city of Sault Ste. Marie and the Ontario Speed Skating Association met to lay plans for the development of  a Long Track Oval for the 1976 Ontario Winter Games being hosted by Sault Ste. Marie the following February. Mr. Harold Brain, Director of the Sault Recreation Department, and Mr. Al Workman of Richmond Hill represented the Ontario Association.

Together, they identified a location of appropriate size to accommodate a 333.3 meter oval, the smallest size permitted to host an ISU sanctioned competition, at Queen Elizabeth Park. Here, the ground required considerable excavation to level. (They must have run out of funding because we are left with a slight home field advantage- a downhill slope on the South straightaway!) 

In November 1975, members of an executive were elected by the Association, whose intent was to choose local, well-known, highly interested individuals to increase the sport's longevity in the Sault. As such, Art Jennings was named chairman, Dr. Roy Whitney, treasurer, and Ms. Elaine Gooderham, secretary. These individuals remained in their positions for several years, with the only change being the alteration of the title chairman to President. This executive was extremely dedicated, and built a lasting foundation upon with the Sault Ste. Marie Speed Skating Club could have decades of success.

One of the most pressing items for the executive of the day was to appeal to local youth to try the sport, and to possibly qualify for the upcoming Ontario Winter Games. The first competitive speed skater to belong to the Club was 13 year old Nancy Currie, who also qualified at the 1976 Ontario Winter Games to compete for Team Ontario at the Canadian Championships in Saskatoon one week later. The second Club qualifier was Blind Rivers Roland Niganoby, who attended St. Marys High School. These two skaters were the first of many to bring honour to themselves and to the community of Sault Ste. Marie, not only throughout the province, but through the nation and the world, through the sport of speed skating. 

Coaching has been a positive factor for the Sault Ste. Marie Speed Skating Club. SSMSC coaches have attended clinics in Ontario and Alberta, they are well-respected and often selected as head coaches for the Ontario team to compete in the Canadian and North American Championships.