Instant winter benefits Bulkley Valley Snow Camp

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After being postponed two weeks earlier due to lack of snow, the perfect weather came right on cue with some impressive dumps of snow to create instant winter. Our athletes were blessed with an incredible weekend of fun, learning and challenge, supported by a fabulous team of coaches and parental volunteers, and even Santa! It was a busy weekend at the Bulkley Vallery Cross Country Ski Club.

In total, 51 young athletes aged 8-14 participated, and featured 20 athletes from out of town from clubs along the Highway 16 corridor: Snow Valley (Terrace/Kitimat), Omenica (Burns Lake), Caledonia (Prince George), Nechako Nordics (Vanderhoof). This training camp celebrated the newly established Ski North Team, intended to promote solidarity and companionship with all our northern teams in this region.

“Ski friends” from previous seasons met again and new connections were made. Some junior athletes (aged 15 and older) also joined in as youth mentors to help coach the Track Attack ages. A youth group from Witset also bussed in to enjoy the trails on Saturday.

All the kids were enthusiastic and overjoyed with all the snow to ski and play in, and totally appreciated all the coordinated events by all the committed coaches, including high performance coaches Nicole Perrin (PG head coach) and Geoff Recknell (BV Junior Development Racing Team coach) and Lisa Perry (BV head coach) among the over 12 athlete development coaches that volunteer with our BV ski club.

Many of these volunteer coaches put in such dedication as well, working to advance into higher accreditation and knowledge to help our young skiers improve to their best in these regional training camps. We are very fortunate to have this active group of adults supporting the kids.

Biathlon was also part of the camp for the Junior athletes (age 15 and up). For these participants, there was top notch training for target shooting and skiing from such high level coaches Kevin Kriese and Wally Lesawich amongst others.

Besides challenging their skill levels, all kinds of fun activities occupied the off-time and evening hours, including some rocking air band performances.

As for the trails, the conditions were amazing. Our groomers worked hard at early and late hours to keep the trails in excellent condition with all the new snow coming down. All the camp participants were also treated to nourishing meals and delectable high-energy snacks from a remarkable team of parent kitchen volunteers led by the culinary expertise of Paula Bartemucci and Tamara Gillis.

All this was made possible with the generous sponsorship of Teck who provided funding and hats and prizes that the young skiers adorned with pride. We all appreciate the financial support of Teck to ensure that we can give the best camp we can for our kids.

The BV Cross Country Ski Club also had athletes racing out of town this past weekend, with Jesse Smids, Gregory Baxter and Conor Murphy representing us at NorAms in Canmore under the leadership of coach Alan Baxter.

And the bonus this weekend was that Santa was there! The annual BVCCSC Santa’s Workshop event attracted over 75 people of families with young children to visit the authentic elven workshop cabin in the woods with Santa overseeing all the toy-making, getting photos with the children and including Christmas cookie decorating for the kids.

Winter is clearly here to stay now, and with this successful snow camp complete our Ski North team is eager to challenge themselves in the upcoming race season. And all levels of the Rabbit program will be starting up in the New Year for fun and more skill development for all ages. Contact the BVCCSC for more info on any of their programs atbvnordic.ca.

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