Up and coming Alberta speed skaters will be pleased to hear one of their coaches has been recognized with a national award.
Coach Shawna Pearman of Ponoka has been teaching young skaters the intricacies of speed skating since 1980 and has just been honoured with Speed Skating Canada’s Female Coach of the Year Award. She coaches the Central Lions Speed Skating Club in Red Deer and brought up her daughters Brooke, Maddison and Tess with the sport.
She competed in speed skating as well and travelled to China in 1976 to compete at an international competition. “It was probably one of the best trips I have been on.”
After completing her skating career, Pearman wanted to give back to the sport by showing younger athletes some of the finer points. Her love of the sport came at an early age. Pearman was six when she first put skates on and immediately enjoyed the individual competitiveness. “With speed skating, what you put in, you get out.”
Despite being highly competitive, skaters tend to stick with each other before and after a race.
“Everybody hangs out together,” added Pearman. “Speed skating is actually a very big family.”
Oldest daughter Brooke stays with a speed skating friend while going to college.
Daughter Tess enjoys having her mother as a coach because mom knows what she needs to hear during a competition.
“She knows how I react,” says Tess. “She’s there on the sidelines encouraging me.”
“I know how they tick,” confirmed Pearman.
Olympic coaches have made it to the list and Pearman was honoured and surprised to win the award. “It’s nice to be recognized by your peers and Speed Skating Canada.”
Pearman coaches 16 boys and girls in Red Deer and intends to continue teaching until her daughters decide to stop speed skating competitively.