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Buffalo Speedskating Club is the February Feature Club of the Month

Feb. 08, 2021, 5:03 p.m. (ET)

The February Feature Club of the Month is the Buffalo Speedskating Club, located in Buffalo, New York. Buffalo has a history that stems back into the 1930’s and has always been a home to skaters along the upper east-coast.

The Buffalo Speedskating Club prides themselves on their ability to include and extend their reach to as many people as possible. This value is most evident through their Noble Family Charitable Foundation Scholarship, which was set up by board member and coach, Alan Jay to help skaters ages 18 and under living with chronic medical conditions. The idea for the foundation was organically formed when Jay observed skaters with chronic medical conditions at their Junior camp. “After seeing the additional effort that these skaters had to put forth each day, and the drive and determination with which they did so, as a club we wanted to help out.” commented Jay. Each year the Foundation awards scholarships to three amazing and inspirational athletes. Buffalo’s arms extend into other sports as well. In the summer months, the club has joined forces with youth hockey clubs, the Queen City Roller Derby Team, and most recently the Buffalo Curling Club for dry-land sessions. Jay stated that, “Our programs are open to the community, in addition to our other local speed skating clubs.” The Club reaches far north, all the way into Canada. They frequently train and compete with members from the Milton Speedskating Club, and they even have recurrent members from Canada. 

Being so close to the border makes international competition much more frequent for Buffalo’s skaters. Their most popular event is the Buffalo Short Track Championships. Since 2014, the club has maxed out their registration of 150 skaters. Every October, skaters from the east coast and southern Ontario lace up skates for two intense days of competition. Additionally, for the past nine years, Buffalo has been holding Junior and Master camps in August that also have great turnout from both sides of the border. Unfortunately, since the pandemic, the club had to cancel the Championship and it’s Masters camp, but are optimistic about 2021 and enthusiastically planning for this year's events! In the meantime, Buffalo has been staying connected through Zoom (much like the rest of us!).

After our season was cancelled in March we collaborated with the Syracuse Speedskating Club and Rochester Speedskating Club to offer a weekly Zoom dryland session and individual and group challenges in an effort to keep us together while we were apart.” Stated Jay. “We usually had about 12 participants... We also had fun challenges such as who could wear the most club attire, and fitness challenges such as who could hold the longest plank.

Yet the people that make up Buffalo are all extraordinary, varying in age and ability! Their current age range is from eight years old to 78 years young, with a mixture of skaters in their Learn to Skate program or competing at an international level! Notably among their Masters is 78 year old Craig Pielechowski. Craig has won multiple U.S. Age Group Championships and also set a number of National and World Short Track records in the 60-69 and 70-79 year age groups. Craig even met his future wife, Christina, by joining the club! Additionally, one of Buffalo’s coaches, Necole Zayatz, recently represented the US at the 2020 Winter World Masters Games in Innsbruck, Austria, where she won Bronze the 500m Long Track event! Many of their up and coming Junior skaters have been actively competing for years and have earned a number of podium finishes as a result of their dedication and hard work.

With the new year upon us, we can not wait to see who else is reached and impacted by the Buffalo Speedskating Club, and who will call it their new home.  


To learn more about Buffalo Speedskating Club, click here