The Castlegar Nordic Ski Club is expanding its offerings for youth skiers. Photo: Submitted

The Castlegar Nordic Ski Club is expanding its offerings for youth skiers. Photo: Submitted

Castlegar Nordic Ski Club launching new youth programs

Programs will open new opportunities for teens and youth interested in learning to Nordic ski

Submitted by Castlegar Nordic Ski Club

Castlegar Nordic Ski Club (CNSC) is announcing some exciting changes with the launch of a series of new youth programs coming this fall and winter.

These programs are designed to open up new opportunities for teens and youth in the area who are interested in learning to Nordic ski with a team of kids their own age, upping their skills by training at a competitive level, and entering into the world of Nordic ski races!

The upcoming Fall Training Youth Program, which runs from Sept. 17 to Dec. 10, will focus on preparing young athletes for the winter race season through cross-training drills and games. There will be a strong emphasis on team-building exercises as the club prepares to form its first youth race team in many years.

The Fall Program will segue straight into this winter’s new Youth Competitive Skills Development Program, with the aim to have the kids hitting the snow in tip-top shape for races, team trips and other special club events planned at the Castlegar Nordic trails this winter.

The launch is addressing a major need that the club has been observing for the past few years: previously there haven’t been any local options for young skiers to participate on a race team or train at a competitive level. Kids who are reaching the age limit for the family programming have nowhere else to go. The club’s coaches having been noticing a group of young skiers over the past few years have begun to show their dedication and skills on the snow, and an eagerness to take their sport to new levels.

“Learning to ski begins at age five with skill development occurring throughout childhood and well into young adulthood. In order to meet the needs of our youth skiers we are expanding our offerings; including fall training and a winter competitive skills development program. These programs will continue to grow the Castlegar Nordic Ski Club and provide increased community exposure as we attend a local series of competitive events,” says CNSC’s head coach Rolf Hartman.

There was also a need to address the recent boom in Nordic skiing, starting in 2019 – the likes of which the sport has virtually never seen – which happened all around the globe in reaction to the COVID lock-downs. At the Castlegar ski trails this has meant a notable increase in memberships and daily trail users from opening day until well after the season close.

The programs are going to give local kids an opportunity to receive competitive training from certified coaches, and experience the excitement and camaraderie that comes from racing with a team and competitors of their own age.

Local coaches Hartman, Simon Cretien and Mary Lusty from Tailout Brewing have been developing the skier development programs and are planning and upgrading their certifications to bring these new developments and offer top quality programming for the kids.

The Fall Program is fully inclusive and will be open to skiers of all levels and abilities from ages eight to 16. This will be the first year of many in the journey to build Castlegar’s own Nordic ski team.

To register visit castlegarnordic.ca or contact program co-ordinator Simon at cnscskilessons@gmail.com.

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