Franklin Park Speed Skating Receives Best of Franklin Park Award

The Franklin Park Speed Skating Team was selected as the 2020 Best of Franklin Park Award in the Sports Club category by the Franklin Park Award Program. This is the second consecutive selection for the Franklin Park Ice Arena’s home team.

Each year, the Franklin Park Award Program selects companies that have exceptional success in their local community and business category. Local companies that enhance the positive image of small businesses through service to their customers and community are recognized.

“As a small amateur club serving a unique geographical area, we are very proud to receive this award two years in a row”, said Team Captain Dejan Gakovich. “Our former skaters are competing at the highest level of international and domestic competitions.”

The Franklin Park Speed Skating Team trains skaters to compete locally, regionally and nationally in short track speed skating. “Our goal is to have numerous skaters qualify and compete at the American Cup Racing Series and Junior National Championships” said, Gakovich. “We would like to introduce more people to speed skating and grow the sport.”

The team has a few notable members including alum and current two-time Olympian Emery Lehman. Most recently, 15 year old Natasa Gakovic was selected to the Junior National Development Team. Assistant Coach Brandon Molenda is multi-time National Champion and Head Coach Steven Penland is highly respected and loved by skaters and parents.

The Franklin Park Speed Skating Team’s season runs from September through March with Tuesday evening practices. Interested participants can try speed skating out using their figure or hockey skates. If they look to continue, the team will advise proper equipment. For more information on the team, contact Dejan Gakovich at 630-853-0435.

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