Young skiers will develop fundamental skills, get fit and spend quality time outdoors. Contributed photo

New programs offered by Quesnel’s Cariboo Ski Touring Club

Ideal time to get kids of all ages and skill levels involved

This may come as a surprise to some readers, but the summer is not going to last forever.

At some point, you are not going to be able to shoo your children into the backyard or a nearby playground every time they get restless.

Now, you can spend your fall in denial and be dragged into winter kicking and screaming, or you can make a plan to ensure winter is a fun time worth looking forward to.

Cariboo Ski Touring Club (CSTC) would suggest you and your family opt for the latter.

The club, which operates out of Hallis Lake, offer a skill development program for kids ages two to nine and above, which caters to all levels of skier.

READ MORE: Influx of green to keep trails white for Cariboo Ski Touring Club

Your child doesn’t need to be a nordic superstar training for the next Olympics, but they can certainly pick up the fundamentals of cross-country skiing while learning an appreciation for the frosty, snow-covered outdoors and getting some great exercise.

The Skill Development Program (SDP) is broken into Bunnyrabbits for ages two to five; Jackrabbits for six to nine; and Track Attack and Yeti Trackers for kids who are nine and up.

“We meet Saturday mornings and get to ski in the evening on Mondays in the lighted tracks or by head lamps,” says Chris Hyde, SDP coordinator.

“Bunnyrabbits and Jackrabbits programs are aimed at creating a fun environment where kids learn the fundamentals of cross-country skiing.

“After Jackrabbits, they can move on to Track Attack or Yeti Trackers or participate in both.”

Yeti Trackers is a new program for young people ages 10 years and older who may not wish to become involved in competitive cross-country skiing but love the outdoors, skiing and want to remain involved and active in the cross-country ski community.

The programs are family friendly and parents are encouraged to join in on the fun.

Also new for this year is the CSTC race team, which is for ages five and up. The race team will have practices on Tuesdays.

Sunshine Borsato will lead them.

“Our cross-country race team is a fun and competitive opportunity for youth skiers to gain experience training for ski races and participating in ski races as a team,” she says.

“While cross-country skiing focuses on the individual athlete’s development, we will be working as a team and cheering each other on both at the races in our community, like the Hallis Lake Loppet in January and the Hallis Youth Ski Tournament in February, as well as out-of-town community races in Prince George, Williams Lake and 100 Mile House.”

Borsato points out participants in the ski development program are already preparing for local races and there is already a competitive biathlon team, but they wanted to develop an additional team to travel to out-of-town races and gain experience skiing at other club venues with different course challenges in both classic and skate-ski techniques.

Programs begin mid-December and run until the end of February or until the snow melts – which skiiers hope isn’t too much later than then.

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