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Nearing the finish line: Skating siblings soon calling it a career


Allyson and Jayson Lawson have spent much of their lives on skates, but that's about to change.

After a life-long skating commitment, the Riverview, N.B., teens will make their Canada Games debut next month, a career moment for both.

Eighteen-year-old Jayson took after his dad and started speed skating when he was three.

Fifteen-year-old Allyson began her career at age two.

The teens train in Fredericton four times a week and spend almost every weekend away at races.

On Friday, the Lawson family will make the eight-hour drive to Trois-Rivières, Quebec for a competition.

It's a demanding schedule that cuts into their school and social lives, but the passion for the sport has kept them going.

"I love the speed and the competitiveness where you can go from first to last in a half a second or vice-versa," said Jayson.

Allyson agrees.

"Yeah, I love the speed and the community," she said. "You never know what's going to happen in a competition or a race. Like Jay said, with any little mess up the race can just absolutely change."

Jayson took after his dad and started speed skating when he was three and Allyson began her career at age two.(Courtesy: Christine Lawson)

In January 2013, CTV News introduced the skating Lawsons to Maritimers with a story about the young skaters.

Allyson and Jayson were more than a bit surprised to see the footage from 10 years ago when they were five and eight-years-old.

"That was the start of the career," said Allyson after watching the story. "That was my first year. I was competing and starting to get into the sport. That was my first coach when I was competitive. It was quite cool to see that."

Seeing the story again for the first time in years was an emotional moment for mother Christine Lawson.

"Watching the kids grow up through the sport, watching them participate in it and seeing Coach Stan [Barnett] who was with them for many years. Unfortunately he passed away three or four years ago, but he holds a great piece of our hearts."

The upcoming Canada Games will be bittersweet. Both will retire from competitive skating shortly after the games.

"It's very sad to look at the fact that I am leaving after 15 years," said Jayson. "I'm definitely going to have to find a new hobby to fill in my time."

Allyson said it feels strange to be so close to the end.

"But I still imagine we'll get out there a couple of times and just have fun with it," said Allyson.

For now, they're still both focused on representing New Brunswick.

"I mean, it's exciting in one sense that they get to do their career goals and end it up on a high and do exactly what they want," said Christine. "It's hard for us because now it's going to be like, 'What do we do now?'"

Jayson will participate in short track on Prince Edward Island and Allyson will compete in long track in Halifax.

However you look at it, they'll be nearing the finish line soon.

Before they get there, they took a moment to thank everyone who helped them over the years.

Jayson thanked his mother and father Mark for their support, their coach Derrick McLeod and MacDonald Buick for their sponsorship. Top Stories

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