November 2017 - CROSS COUNTRY SKIING
Youth Nordic Skiing
Expanding Throughout Region
By Chris Yarsevich
The Hudson United Racing Team (HURT Nordic) is pleased to announce the expansion of their youth learn to ski program. This program is modeled after the national Bill Koch Youth Ski League (BKYSL) program and encourages children in kindergarten through seventh grades to get out, enjoy winter, and learn to cross country ski.
The new program is building off the Shenendehowa Nordic Club’s Bill Koch Youth Ski League, which has been running for decades at Shenendehowa Central School campus in Clifton Park. HURT Nordic is now running a weekly program at Brookhaven Golf Course in Greenfield Center, and Crandall Park/Cole’s Woods in Glens Falls/Queensbury this winter.
With all of these programs up and running there are now three unique locations, spread across the Capital Region, that offer free or low cost learn to ski programs to area children. The Shenendehowa program runs right after school starting in early November, once per week – with or without snow. The Greenfield and Queensbury programs are later in the evenings. Once per weeknight sessions normally last just under an hour and run from December through March, depending on the snow.
Children do not need any experience cross country skiing to join a club. Skiing will be taught through the use of games, technique drills, and play on skis. A low key, non-competitive environment is stressed. It is not uncommon for total beginners to ski alongside well-seasoned veterans, with everyone having a great time.
For the more serious or competitive skiers interested in racing, HURT Nordic (hurtnordicskiing.com) is one of the biggest racing teams in the state, and these programs have started the racing careers of many area skiers. Racing is available throughout the state most winter weekends, with several races featuring special Bill Koch age group divisions. These events are great ways to introduce younger skiers to racing in a fun and supportive environment.
A limited amount of rental or loaner gear is available at each of these programs on a first-come, first-serve basis. Basic cross country skis (“fish scales”) are just fine for the program and can be often found at garage sales, ski swaps or friend’s basements.
Local ski shops, including Play It Again Sports in Latham, Alpine Sport Shop in Saratoga Springs, Sports Page in Queensbury, Inside Edge in Glens Falls, and High Peaks Cyclery in Lake Placid, offer a wide selection of skis, boots, poles, clothing and accessories – and knowledgeable staff to steer you in the right direction.
Parents are always welcome to join the weekly sessions and cross country ski along with their children or just watch the fun.
The weather has turned colder and our thoughts have turned to winter activities, so keep these programs in mind for any active, fun loving children you know. Sign-ups will begin in November, but new skiers are always welcome to join us at any time during the season. Even if you just want to attend one or two sessions to try it out, we encourage you to stop by and try!
HURT Nordic held a successful fundraiser, the first annual Oktoberfest 5K Trail Run, to help expand skiing at Brookhaven Golf Course on October 28th, which attracted 80 runners and walkers. Keep a lookout for excellent groomed classic ski trails and a citizen ski race at Brookhaven this winter.
New member families are welcome to join the youth ski leagues. For more information and to get started right away, contact Eric Hamilton (firstname.lastname@example.org) for the Shenendehowa program (shenendehowanordic.wordpress.com). Chris Yarsevich (email@example.com) for the Greenfield location, and Bob Underwood (firstname.lastname@example.org) for the Queensbury program.
Chris Yarsevich is a founding member of the Hudson United Racing Team. You can find him racing almost every winter weekend with the team and when the snow is gone he enjoys running, cycling and hiking.