Racing team updates

As a coach for the junior cross country ski team in its 8th year I quite often wonder about where all this is headed. 
I have no idea. 
 1. Our recreational skiers support the club, the trail work, the grooming, all of it, really. They also support competitive programs, and it is the right thing to do. Why?
If we have the structure and stream in place to support kids along their path from very young to the age of 17 or 18, there is a good chance we can also support a recreational adventure program. Not everyone wants to race. Ski for life, yes.
Club programs bring kids to the club.  You can ski anywhere, but our programs are a reason to meet at the burrow, ski on groomed trails, have fun. It is well organized, has been for many years. We are missing a program for recreational skiers. What?
Case in point. Lappe Nordic, Ontario. 
    Lappe created a recreational adventure ski program for 14 to 19 year olds many years ago.  Skiers who do not want to race, they just want to learn to ski better, mainly have fun.  What is the big deal getting that going? 
We support our kids on skis until they are 13 years old, after that we got the high school and junior team programs, and those are the ones that would run side by side with an adventure program, simple. Simple yes, but we need coaches for all programs to keep this going. So get in, inquire today, get coaching. 
 2. Had I grown up in Parry Sound, and I was about 12 years old, a letter to the club may look something like this:
Hi, my name is Peter Wiltmann and I am in Grade 8. I like sports a lot. I like to go outside a lot with school. Our teachers like to get us out a lot, its fun. We had a fun thing last year where we were just running down a hill chasing rolling tires and stuff, adventure time they called it or something. In the summer I like canoeing, biking, and swimming, and we have a coach who takes us places for paddling events, it is awesome. I love winter, and I love school skiing, my first ski ever was right at school, my teacher showed me. Some days we go to your club and there are so many other kids from all schools, like a hundred kids. Not sure what I like the most but when mom and dad go skiing they take me to your ski place on the weekend. We all ski with a leader and oh ya, hot chocolate.
I see some older kids who are leaders in red jackets, so cool, they have different skis and poles, and they look so fast. They zoom around us, they move side to side, so different from what we do,  and it looks so cool. I want to try that. Mom wants to know how to do that. Who are those kids, are they from another town, and can I learn how to ski like that? Oh, how much is it? Do you have red jackets, the blue ones are ok too.
Thank you
3. The Big Times. A skier in her final year at home. 
Shaylynn Loewen. "Skiing without poles"
Ghislain brought her to one of our weekly practices on a warm summer day in 2013.  She was not quite finished with Racing Rabbits, but a decision was to be made soon in her mind or time to move on to find another sport. For her it was about this roller ski thingy she wanted to try. Well, she came up that one hill with a big smile, this was fun for her. She came back a few more times that summer, but essentially she was hooked. I had only seen her once or twice skiing at the club the winter before, I did notice her skills on snow and how confident she could corner with those skinny boards in loose snow.   She became a regular in 2014 and never looked back. 
Here is an earlier posting on our Fast and Female page, questions she answered a few years ago. 
  Jump forward to the present, it is late 2017 and we are looking ahead to the most fascinating season ever for Georgian Nordic. My job is to motivate, enable, and inform all 15 skiers who have committed to attend about 12 different events with over 20 individual races this next season. 
Shaylynn turned all training and racing into a strong routine over the last 4 years, no need to motivate or enable her any longer, she is becoming very independent. She is now leading in many ways on this team, and you should be so lucky to have her teach you a move or technique, anything really. She knows how to ski and mostly the fact that getting faster is a never ending pursuit of excellence. Her upcoming Ontario Ski Team training camp in Sovereign, BC starting Dec 1, ends with a Noram racing weekend, yup the big times. She says her expectations are in check, she has a plan for altitude acclimatization, food, intensity training, super easy recovery skiing, and racing. Her goal is to get experience and have no expectations. Things could go sour, hitting the big times is a risk she is willing to take now.  
Ocup racingOcup racing
Shaylynn in one of her first Ontario Cup races with the junior team, 2014. 
zone4 stair climbingzone4 stair climbing
Shaylynn's portfolio in training is endless, here she is doing zone4 up the stairs on Tower Hill. 
Patch skiingPatch skiing
Shaylynn would always be on for  "off" kind of training, keeping on a smile. This photo shows here left to right Tomaz , Shaylynn, Marie Claire, Malcolm, Graham Ritchie, Kate Beirnes, Noah, and Emily.
Watch for Shaylynn racing in Canmore Nationals 2017 (#200) in this clip
 Shay did win the B-final in Classic sprints, Canmore Nationals
Good luck in Sovereign, Shaylynn. Noram race weekend is December 9/10 
Malcolm, Graham Ritchie, and Noah will all be there, yup Georgian Nordic. 
So if you have a 12 year old or younger, in your household who starts to dream about things. 
If we all work together we can open that path for that skier's dream from home, we can help them  pick a path, but we must check our expectations all the time. 
4. Oh, this just in. Breaking. 
Marie Claire Henry skied with us from 2010 to 2014. She is taking 12 skiers from Queens University on the road this year, yup all the way from on snow training camp right now to Ontario Cups, and yes to Nationals in Thunder Bay. She in my mind is the ultimate ski for life advocate we have, she truly loves to ski. Coaching would only be natural for her. Mont St Louis uphill pole walkingMont St Louis uphill pole walking
Marie-Claire at a high performance SOD camp in 2012.
Darn good bootsDarn good boots
Claire racing in Corner Brook, NFLD Nationals in 2013
What about you, if you are a girl, can you imagine being a Shay or a Marie Claire?
Try it. 
Stay tuned, folks!