Ron Hlasny – Builder
From a strong competitor to coach, Ron Hlasny’s love of speed skating has resulted in the Prince Albert Speed Skating Club. At age 14 Hlasny joined the Saskatoon Lions Speed Skating club where he competed in provincial, western Canadian and National levels.
Hlasny then stepped back from the sport to attend school in Lethbridge where he was recruited by a parent to assist with three young long track skaters making up the Lethbridge Speed Skating Club. One of the three skaters he coached there won a silver medal at the Alberta Provincials and his coaching career was forged.
After school, Ron and his wife, Heather settled down in Prince Albert where they would create the Prince Albert Speed Skating Club in 1991. Similar to Lethbridge, the PA Speed Skating Club started with three members, all from one family that recently moved to PA from BC. The Club was the fourth in the province joining Moose Jaw, Regina and Saskatoon. One of the highlights of the club was an outdoor oval Ron and other club members, along with help from SIGA, Broda Construction Inc., Prince Albert Fire Department and the Midtown Rink Association, built and maintained at the PA Exhibition Grounds for 3 years in the mid 2000’s. The oval allowed skaters to try long track speed skating and a place for school groups to take children out for a skate.
Ron and Heather Hlasny operated the PA Speed Skating Club for 10 years before both of their children would compete from 2001 to 2010. Daughter Magda has followed in her father’s footsteps as one of the PASSC’s coaches. There have been many successful athletes under Hlasny’s coaching that have gone on to the Saskatchewan Speed Skating Provincial and Development Teams for both short and long track. Skaters at this level attend training camps and continue to be coached by the local club.
Many members of the Prince Albert Speed Skating Club have competed in both the Saskatchewan and Canadian Winter Games. One skater, Elliott Nelson moved on to both the National and International level in long track speed skating.
One of Ron Hlasny’s best attributes that has resulted in a long and successful career as founder and coach of the PASSC is his willingness to help everyone in the sport. He has reached out to many nearby communities like Debden, Shellbrook, Nipawin, Kinistino and Melfort to welcome athletes of help a in forming a club. He often takes time at meets to confer with other coaches about the technical aspect of their skaters’ performance.
Ron Hlasny has had a tremendously positive affect on athletes and families through the sport of Speed Skating in Prince Albert and has nothing but praise for the skaters, their parents and the communities in the Prince Albert area that have helped to maintain the Prince Albert Speed Skating Club over the last 25 years.