Spaces available in youth XC program 

Time is running out to register for an eight-week cross country youth program for kids aged 12 and up that’s sponsored by the Whistler Nordic Club.

The program, which operates on Monday’s from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. starting Jan. 14, includes instruction on skate and classic skiing techniques and access to the Lost Lake cross-country skiing trails. The cost is just $20, and a special deal on equipment rentals is available from The Cross Country Connection for kids who need equipment.

The goal is to build enthusiasm for the sport for first timers, and to give teenagers who have participated in local Jackrabbit programs a chance to stay in the sport and progress to the next level.

The program will be aided by the arrival of Danielle Murdoch, a level three certified coach who Cross Country B.C. and Cross Country Canada have hired to work with local cross country clubs through the month of January.

"It’s a great resource, and it’s wonderful to have her here for the month," says Michelle Crowe, who helped organize the youth program.

For those participants who are interested in competing, several events have been scheduled over the next few months.

On Jan. 19, The Cross Country Connection is hosting the first ever Lost Lake Shuffle Nordic Relay, where teams of three or individuals see how many laps they can make of a 3.5 km circuit in four hours. There will be a junior team category, as well as categories for families, co-ed, men’s and women’s teams.

On Jan. 26, Pemberton will be hosting the first Coastal Cup, a cross country sprint event "that’s fast and fun to watch," says Crowe.

On Jan. 27, the Fairmont Chateau Whistler will host the 25 th annual Whistler Cup Cross Country Ski Loppet, which is open to all ages and abilities.

On Feb. 7, Pemberton will host their annual Spud Valley Loppet.

On Feb. 23, the B.C. Midget Championships will take place in Kamloops. Kids from Whistler and Pemberton will take part.

There is also a qualifier for the B.C. Winter Games on Jan. 12, which locals will take part in.

To register for the Whistler Nordic Club’s youth program, you can pick up forms at the high school from Rita Rice or Miriam Bride, or by calling Crowe at 604-932-4447.

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