There’s a place for everyone!
Membership in Gateway Speed Skating allows you to attend our practice sessions and benefit from the instruction of our coaches. Practices are organized by the coaches to maximize safety of the participants and maximize the use of the ice for all levels of instruction. In general, practices are Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday with no requirement to attend every day. Sunday and Wednesday practices have been split into 2 one hour sessions; the first hour is for all skaters, and the second hour is for the advanced skaters. The Tuesday and Thursday practice is a one hour session for all levels of skaters. The beginning skaters have up to 4 hours of ice and instruction available each week. The advanced skaters have up to 6 hours of ice and instruction each week. Gateway also provides dryland technique and conditioning drills during the summer months. Practice details, calendar events, and all event announcements are on our club’s TeamSnap account. Once you are registered through one of our programming options, you will be added to our club’s account.
Whether a child, teen, or adult; join us! We love having anyone who wants to learn the sport! You can opt to enter our Learn to Skate program to try our sport out! Coach Phil is our fun-loving and very patient coach who actively engages with our beginning skater group. The fun begins by having the skater arrive with all the recommended gear to ensure safety. The hockey rink is setup with crash pads along the rink boards to help minimize injury. Safety is of key importance to all our coaches and will be an important aspect of discussion at beginning sessions.
For details on the recommended gear, please see the Join Today tab for more details.
Every level of engagement in this sport is welcome. Many younger skaters will skate recreationally as they continue to learn the sport and are welcome to join meets (skate competitions) at any time they feel comfortable doing so. There is no requirement to compete during any given season. The earliest age possible to compete is at 4 yrs old. There are 2 St. Louis area meets. Regional meets attended by skaters range from Jefferson City, MO to Champaign-Urbana, IL to the Chicago area and Milwaukee. Our club has a badging process that helps encourage and reward our skaters (no matter what age) who attend a meet, obtain new personal best times, and meet major milestones.
Many skaters have the sport become their preferred sport activity while many others use speedskating as a fun club activity for cross-training for their other primary sport. Though the skating is largely seen as an individual sport; it is also a team sport. There is not only the skill of learning how to skate relay races in groups but there is also the development of club identity and supporting each other at meets.
Practices will include all ability levels at the same time with the division across groups determined by coaches. Typically there are 3 groups though, on occasion, there are 4 groups. Group 3 is the beginner level group while Group 1 is the fastest level group. Each group has a coach or coaches giving specific instruction or skating with them to give tips. The groups rotate who is on the oval track putting technique training into practice while “off track” time is spent in the middle of the ice with skaters obtaining instruction from coaches.
US Speedskating works in partnership with the U.S. Center for SafeSport to establish a healthy, positive and safe environment for all parties participating in the sport of speedskating. All adults 18 yrs or older who are out on the ice with the club are required to complete the SafeSport online module training every year.
Age Group Program
Skaters that have mastered Gateway’s Learn to Skate program are ready to move onto our Age Group Program. In addition, skaters who have joined the club with prior skating experience may also directly join. Skaters are divided into groups based on their abilities. Groups take turns on the ice with verbal instruction occurring while other groups skate. Once skaters have the ability, speed and endurance required, they will be invited to stay for “second hour”, an honor that many young skaters look forward to.
Adults of all ages are welcome to join. Gateway has an active group of Masters-level skaters who skate recreationally or compete at local, regional, and national meets. Current members and coaches have been Age-Group National Champions in the 40-50, 50-60, 60-70, and 70-80 year old age class for both short track and long track. Historically, Gateway Masters skaters routinely finish within the top 4 at Age-Group Nationals.