Welcome to the KW Sertoma Speed Skating Club!
The K-W Sertoma Speed Skating Club was formed in 1963 by a group of interested families with a love for the sport. It remains a strong sports organization in Waterloo Region, balancing being a family-oriented club with training skaters of all ages, including Special Olympic Athletes.
Our team of dedicated volunteer coaches develop a program tailored to groups of different ages and abilities. Our NCCP coaches receive ongoing training from the Ontario Speed Skating Association (OSSA), as well as other training programs.
Our competitive skaters, the KW Cobras, participate in many short track speed skating meets run by clubs in the province of Ontario. Some competitive skaters qualify to go to Provincial A and National Championships, as well as the Ontario and Canada Winter Games.
So whether you are interested in our competitive stream, or you simply want the fitness and social aspects of the sport, we have a program for you! Young children, youth and adults of all ages are welcome.
Come out and see what our club is all about. Remember to skate hard and go left!
A quick note about Facebook and Twitter
- Any information conveyed through these social media sites (pages, comments, tweets, etc.) do not necessarily reflect the position or opinion of the KW Sertoma Speed Skating Club or its board members.
- All official KW Sertoma Speed Skating Club information is communicated and managed on this website.
The Club is governed by a Board of Directors. KWSSSC Board of Directors respect and follow the Club Bylaws.
2016-2017 Board Members:
- Angela Schrum – President
- BJ Leidl – Vice President
- David Wong – Treasurer
- Deb Langridge – Secretary
- Rosie Chong – Registrar and Membership
- Don Clarke – Equipment
- Julie Walsh – Coaching Liason
- Kelly Schmidtke – Communications and Media
- Doug Gibbons – Coaching/Bingo Representative
- Tom Read – Director at Large/KW Sertoma Representative
- Deb Baxter-Heeney – Director at Large
- Ann Flanagan – Director at Large
- Chris Pursel – Director at Large
Club Code of Conduct All KWSSSC members must agree to the Club Code of Conduct and sign off their agreement to adhere to this policy as part of their membership registration annually.
1920s – Local speed skaters in KW, small number with interest in the sport
1963 – Notice placed in the KW Record by the KW Sertoma Service Club. The Sertoma Club wished to sponsor a worthwhile sports project. Ontario Amateur Speed Skating Association president Joe Huibers of St. Catharines, Ontario, with John Jurdis and Dennis Laverty, executive members of the Association, took the notice and persuaded the Sertoma Club to host the 1963 Canadian Outdoor Championships in the KW area. Lacking a competitive club, the group still held a very successful 1963 Outdoor event, and through appeals to local youth, they entered eight skaters in this meet. The meet was held on a six lap track put on Victoria Lake in downtown Kitchener.
Martin Deutschlander, a local skater, entered as a Junior, borrowing a pair of racing skates four days before the competitions. Martin won a third place medal in one final and placed fourth in another. An amazing accomplishment for someone who had never seen a racing skate a week earlier.
Ebele Hanje, another KW area skater, entered the Senior Men’s class using a pair of Dutch wooden strap-on skates.
1964 – Following the championships, Joe Huibers influenced the Sertoma Club to form a speed skating club locally. The K-W Sertoma Speed Skating Club was formed. Seven skaters turned out to the original club meeting. Two Sertomans, Bill Plauntz and Jack Battler, took over positions as coach and treasurer of the club.
The original seven skaters were Bob Bryant, Marty Deutschlander, Ron Billings, Ebele Hanje, Hank Klayer, Greg Peterson and Gregg Planert.
The first female club competitors joined the club this year – Connie DeGroot, Rosemary Wiese, Kathy Hoch and Karen McLaughlin. Karen and her younger sister, Mary Ann, both won Canadian Championships as well as competing in provincial and U.S. competitions.
1967 – DeGroot, Wiese, Bryant and Klayer were on the Ontario Team at the original Winter Games in Quebec with Planert as chief timer of the event.
1968 – Greg Peterson won the Canadian Outdoor Championship Junior title in Saskatchewan. Bill Plauntz and Jack Battler retired and Bob Planert took over as coach, with Gerry Haack as secretary-treasurer. Planert had been an associate member of the skating club from the start, acting as an official and helping with transportation to various meets.
1969 – This season saw the arrival of additional coaches Jeff Crebolder and Tony Byyank, as well as the very welcome addition of Marcia Parson, former Olympic Team member from Alberta. Marcia, a school teacher, skated for the club and encouraged several of her students to join.
1970s – Planert, along with Joe Hanje (Ebele’s brother) and Patti Hoch, skated in Europe as Canadian Association team members in the early 1970’s. Joe and Patti became members of the Club. Planert later turned to coaching – two years in China and later with skaters in Calgary, Alberta.
1971 to 1978 – the following members won or tied Canadian Short Track or Long Track titles: Marcia Backner Parson, Gerald Dickey, Patti Hoch and Ann McLaughlin. Patti Hock, Liz Ellenton, Darrell Haack and Ian Hennigar were on the Ontario Team at the 1975 Canada Games. Hoch, Terry Rektor, Bob Crebolder and Gerry Haack were local club members on the 1971 Ontario Canada Games team.
1980 – The club moved to the Conestoga College rink
2001 – Waterloo’s RIM Park complex was built and consideration was given to the club, as described in the City of Waterloo archives. The club has called RIM Park’s Lion’s Arena rink home since the facility opened. The complex provides our club with permanent and convenient ice-side storage for the large mats that are necessary for skater safety at practices and meets.
2014 – The KW Sertoma Speed Skating Club celebrates its 50th anniversary!
Where are they now??
Ian Hennigar later became Executive Director for the Ontario Speed Skating Association, exiting in 2004. He passed away in 2016 after a long and successful career in youth sports and speed skating, being the first ever winner in 2015 of Speed Skate Canada’s President’s Commendation Award for outstanding contribution to the sport of speed skating for over 40 years.
Bob Crebolder was a head coach for the Saskatchewan Speed Skating Association.
Ebele Hanje passed away in 2014, but his children and grandchildren continue to skate with our club.
For member sign up requests to this site, email our club members group.