The Pearman family has been heavily involved in the central Alberta speed skating scene and this week, they were recognized by Speed Skating Canada.
From Ponoka, the family has made a huge mark on the speed skating community in Red Deer and beyond. Each of the five family members – mom Shawna, dad Myron and daughters Brooke, Maddison and Tess – have had an impact on the sport, both on the ice and from the sidelines.
On Tuesday, Speed Skating Canada announced that they would receive the Gagné Family Award, which honours the family legacies that run through the Canadian speed skating community and is given to a family whose members have made an outstanding contribution to the development of the sport.
“We are all very honoured to receive the Gagné Family Award. Speed skating has been a central part of our family’s life for 21 years as athletes, coaches and officials,” Shawna said.
“Throughout this time, we have been blessed with lifelong memories and friendships. Speed skating is truly one big family that we are all grateful to be part of.”
As a skater, Shawna represented Manitoba at the Canada Winter Games twice and was a member of Canada’s junior national team in the mid-1970s.
She then transitioned to coaching and volunteering with the Red Deer Central Lions Speed Skating Club in 1992, which included a 20-year stint as head coach.
She has also served as meet coordinator for many events hosted in Red Deer, was the sport lead at the 2019 Canada Winter Games and helped guide local youth to medals at the 2020 Special Olympics Canada Winter Games.
Shawna has been recognized by various governing sport bodies over the years, receiving Speed Skating Canada’s Coach of the Year in 2013, Speed Skating Alberta’s Volunteer of the Year in 2016 and the City of Red Deer’s Lifetime Sports Achievement Award in 2020.
Her husband Myron has served as a starter, timer and place judge. He’s worked as a club-level volunteer for years and is a fixture at the Calgary Olympic Oval, where he officiates almost every weekend, helping with everything from provincial meets to World Cups.
Brooke and Tess both competed provincially and nationally but have transitioned to coaching and volunteering roles in recent years. Tess also plays volleyball for the Red Deer College Queens.
Maddison has continued to skate at a high level and has coached in Red Deer over the past few years.
She represented Alberta at the 2011 Canada Winter Games and skated for Canada at the World Junior Championships in 2013 and 2015.
The 25-year old is currently a member of Canada’s NextGen team, winning a pair of medals at the 2019 ISU Four Continents Championships in Milwaukee.