100 kids were introduced to competitive cross-country skiing on Friday, January 20th. Children from nearby First Nations traveled to Tawatina, Alta for a cross-country ski race hosted by Ski Fit North.
Olympian Beckie Scott is the program director at Ski Fit North. She is a gold medal winner from the 2002 Olympics, 17 time world champion, and placed second at the 2006 Olympics and World Championships.
“This event came about as an idea to help bridge the gap between a real competition where the kids may have been racing for many years or are very experienced in racing,” Scott said.
“It’s an opportunity for our Indigenous students in the program to try racing in a really fun, low-key, supportive environment to see if they like it. We’d then assist for the next level of competitions.”
The race participants ranged from Grades 1 through 12, and came from The race participants came from Kikino Metis Settlement, Beaver Lake First Nation, Heart Lake First Nation, Goodfish First Nation, Saddle Lake Cree Nation and Buffalo Lake Metis Settlement
Many schools in the area have recently created ski clubs. Take Kikino School, their ski club has grown from 10 people to 110 in just 3 years. Along with hockey and baseball, this growing ski club is just one of three recreational sports that are offered at Kikino.
Kian Bishop, 12, is from Kikino Metis Settlement and Kikino School, and finished third in the three-kilometre race.
“It gives all these little kids a chance to ski and get better as the years go on,” Bishop said. “It’s a pretty big moment for them. It’s kind of special.”
There were many races that day, and one of them started with a pileup at the start line. Laurie Thompson, Principal at Kikino, weighed in on that pile up, and viewed it as a life lesson in determination for the kids involved.
“They get up. That’s what life’s about. When you fall down you get up. You still keep going,” she said. “You put that next ski in front of the other. You be proud that you got from here to there.
This lesson in determination is one many kids never have the opportunity to learn through extracurricular activities like the Ski Fit North races.
Ski Fit North’s Program Direct, Beckie Scott, weighed in on the event too.
“This event came about as an idea to help bridge the gap between a real competition where the kids may have been racing for many years or are very experienced in racing,” Scott said. “It’s an opportunity for our Indigenous students in the program to try racing in a really fun, low-key, supportive environment to see if they like it. We’d then assist for the next level of competitions.”
When working with Beckie Scott, she demonstrates and teaches resilience, through a powerful message of teamwork, leadership and hard work. Beckie’s commitments to her life’s accomplishment show us that her passion to help and change Canadian’s and especially Canadian Youth, are an example for all of us to follow when dealing with adversity.
Written By Roger Breault,
President of Speakers Bureau of Canada
Feb 12th, 2017