Local elementary students from Bert Ambrose and Allan Holland got to put their new cross-country skiing skills to the test when 20 kids took part in the Whiskey Jack Nordic Ski Club’s Fun Ski at Links Golf Course on Monday.
Students from Grades 2 to 6 got to race each other in a friendly competition on one, two and four-kilometre courses.
Corrine Tacey, a teacher at Bert Ambrose, organized the Fun Ski and said it’s important for northern students to learn the sport of cross-country skiing.
“It’s a life-long sport and something that hopefully they’ll want to do for all their lives,” Tacey said after the event. “It’s also a perfect sport for up here. We have pretty good trails and things going on. It also allows for variety. A lot of kids aren’t into hockey so it’s something else to do, plus the fresh air.”
“It’s excellent cardio plus strengthening the legs, the lungs.”
Wearing numbered bibs, the young skiers looped around the snow-covered Links Golf Course on the Whiskey Jack Nordic Ski Club’s winter trails on Monday afternoon. Some lost their balance a few times, but everyone finished.
“I think they have a lot of fun when they ski with a bunch of other kids,” said Eliza Stanford, president of the Whiskey Jack Nordic Ski Club. “It helps with their overall coordination and helps them enjoy winter.”
“Sometimes you get locked into, ‘Oh it’s too cold, I’m not going outside,’ but guess what? It’s a good sport, and you can generate a lot of heat in a short period of time. You’re developing a skill, you’re making friends and you can enjoy winter and enjoy living in the north.”
Curtis Hammond and Hannah North finished first in the 4-km course, while in the 2-km race, Raanin Alexander came first in the Boys Grade 4 & Up. In the Girls Grade 4 & Up 2-km race, first went to Kaleyah Lock, second to Graycne Johnson and third to Tannis Stebchuk.
In the Boys Grade 3 & Under 2-km course, Cy Bellamy finished first, William Brown second, third went to Alex McDonald and fourth to Dante Romey. Avalin Alexander finished first in the Girls Grade 3 & Under 2-km course.
In the 1-km course, Bradley McDonald, Naima Abbasi, Nico D’Agostino and Keagan Goulet all made it across the finish line in under 25 minutes with Goulet having the fastest time at 11:16.