The Town of Hay River, N.W.T., is celebrating the first time its speed skating club will send a member to the Arctic Winter Games.

The club’s Kaed Blake, 13, is gearing up for the games, which will be held in Whitehorse.

"I think it’s a good opportunity for me, and to get the club out there," he said.


Kaed Blake practices for the Arctic Winter Games. The 13-year-old is the first speed skater from Hay River to compete in the games. (Darren Horn Photography)

The club only has nine registered skaters, and Blake is the oldest.

His father, Rodger Blake, is the coach.

"Being a small club and making some headway in our sport, the recognition of an Arctic Winter Games accomplishment certainly causes our community to be proud as well," said Rodger.

Speed skating clubs across the Northwest Territories came together and donated mats and other gear to help launch the Hay River club five years ago.

"It’s a sport that brings these communities throughout the territory together. It’s a great working environment and a great competition environment," said Rodger.

Kaed said his dad is his biggest fan.