Club - Kitchener-Waterloo Sertoma Speed Skating Club
Residence - Kitchner, Onterio, CA
Chronic Medical Condition - Cystic Fibrosis
A note from Scholarship Administrator - Alan Jay
On behalf of the Board and membership of the BSC I would like to thank our selection committee for choosing our three 2018 recipients. I know that all of the applicants were worthy of selection, and that the committee's decision was not an easy one.
Craig Pielechowski: Craig is a level 2 USS certified coach and long time member and coach of the Buffalo Speedskating Club. An accomplished master skater since 2002, Craig holds a number of short track age class championships.
Tom Miller: Tom is a level 3 USS certified coach and President of Adirondack Speedskating. Tom hosts a number of camps with the cooperation of the United States Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, NY. In 2017 Tom was named the USOC Volunteer Coach of the Year.
Gary Martin, M.D.: In practice for 34 years, Gary is an internal medicine specialist in Chicago, IL with board Certifications in Cardiovascular Disease and Internal Medicine. Gary is a level 2 USS certified coach with the Park Ridge Speedskating club and a competitive master skater.
Chris started speed skating when he was 7 and has been skating for 11 years. He is currently a member of the Kitchener-Waterloo Sertoma Speed Skating Club, training 5-6 days a week and loves the thrill of competition. Almost since he began competing, Chris competed at the Ontario Provincial level and has been part of the Ontario elite training program since its inception two years ago. Chris has competed at the National level for the past 5 years and is looking forward to moving to Calgary in August of 2018 to pursue full-time training in the Calgary Oval short track program.
Cystic Fibrosis is a genetic disease that can be very difficult to manage and can have a significant impact on both Chris's training and performance. Chris has a passion for the sport, but speed skating also helps to keep him healthy. Respiratory issues are one of the main symptoms of Cystic Fibrosis and keeping active through speed skating helps Chris to maintain and improve his lung function. Chris has never let Cystic Fibrosis define him or keep him from doing what he loves to do. When not on the ice, Chris's hobbies include cycling, inline skating, swimming and working out. Chris is very grateful that the Beatrice Noble Memorial Speedskating Scholarship has been created to help speed skaters with chronic medical conditions and that he has been selected as a recipient. The Scholarship money will help fund Chris's full-time training in Calgary as he moves to the next level of training in his speed skating career.
Paul has been speedskating for two years as a member of Bay State Speedskating Club. A former hockey player Paul decided to make the switch to speedskating shortly after being diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in 2016. This past March Paul proudly competed for the first time in the US Speedskating Age Group Nationals held in Saratoga, NY. Paul is a student at Boston College High School where he is a member of both the cross country and baseball teams. Paul also plays baseball for the AAU Dirt Dawgs as well as his town’s Babe Ruth All Star Team. When Paul is not on the ice or baseball field he enjoys drawing, travel, golf, and snowboarding. Paul is also active in raising money and awareness of T1D with the JDRF organization.
Paul explains how speedskting helps him manage his Diabetes this way: "Exercise helps bring blood sugar down by using sugar in the bloodstream for energy. This lowering of blood sugar can help me feel better, and give me more energy than I would have if the sugar just sat there in my blood stream. Speedskating is a perfect way to get exercise to help turn excess sugar into energy, and help to manage my diabetes more efficiently. Also with speedskating, I need to have good eating habits to be a strong skater. With this goal in mind, I am able to manage blood sugar levels a lot easier through eating healthier foods that don’t mess up my sugars as much as junk food would. When eating the right foods and knowing the exact carbohydrate counts on things while training for skating, my diabetes is more manageable on so many levels. Speedskating also pushes me to try and have better sugar levels because when skating, I perform so much better when my sugars aren’t all over the place. Good blood sugars create energy better, and with more energy I am able to skate as strong as I can. Despite the challenges of T1D, I manage to live an active life with the help of family and friends, technology, exercise, and healthy lifestyle habits. I am still able to do all the things everyone else can do and more, it just takes a couple extra steps to make sure I’m feeling 100%."
Sherise has been speed skating for almost six years. Her dad first suggested that she give the sport a try while she was learning to skate since she enjoyed going really fast but didn't want to play hockey or ringette. Sherise fell in love with the sport from the second she took her first straight away stride.
Sherise was diagnosed with Celiac Disease when she was thirteen months old. Sherise describes how speed skating helps her manage her disease and what the sport means to her this way: "Speed skating helps me cope with Celiac Disease. It keeps me active and healthy and forces me to make good choices with what I eat. Instead of always going for a candy bar or a bag of chips when I want a snack, I will pick up some nuts or a bowl of fruit. When I’m out on the ice I don’t have to worry about not being able to eat what is placed in front of me and I am no different than the person skating behind me. My love for speed skating has grown stronger everyday. I love the thought of people watching me skate and telling their friends or children: 'Look! That’s speed skating!' I have attended many camps and each one has made me grow as a speed skater and as a person. I love meeting people from all across Canada and America who come to the camps. As much as speed skating is a sport and it keeps me active, it is a social thing too. I love going to speed skating and being able talk to my friends."