As winter approaches, the Devon Nordic Ski Club is preparing for another season of outdoor wintertime fun.
Each year, the cross-country ski club tracks and maintains trails in the Devon river valley, offering ski sessions on Sunday afternoons for kids of all ages.
“It’s been sort of this traditional winter program we have in Devon. There’s not much for sporting activities to do outside in the winter,” said club coach Doug Macaulay. “We actually have some of the best snow in the Edmonton area right on our doorstep … we set tracks out on the golf course every year and then up through the walking trails a bit.”
Macaulay said the club sees around 30 kids participating each year, with parents actively engaged skiing right alongside them and their coaches. Skiers can rent club equipment or bring their own, and take advantage of teachings from coaches to learn the techniques and tricks of cross-country skiing.
The club offers lessons for kids of different ages to learn how to ski, develop their skills and enjoy the fresh air and friendships made in the club. It also offers advanced ski programs for youth and youth coaching opportunities for those who want to help out.
Experienced skiers who are interested in competing or participating in the annual Devon Family Loppet also have a chance to do so. Formerly, the Devon Nordic Ski Club was partnered with the Bears Adventure Sport Society, however, the Bears Society has moved to a new location in Parkland County to develop its own competitive programs. The Devon Ski Club builds a foundation of skill for those skiers who are interested in skiing competitively.
“Our program is more on enjoying skiing, developing good technique and getting outside,” Macaulay said. “It’s more focused on getting them in skis, getting them on the snow and getting them comfortable going up and down hills and … using proper techniques so if they do choose to be a little more competitive they can do that.”
Macaulay added that the expected start of this year’s club activities will be on Dec. 8, weather and snowfall permitting.
Information on the club’s programs can be found through Cross Country Alberta or the club’s Facebook page. Registration for all ages is now open.