Friday, February 3, 2012

The post-Paralympic blues! We worked so hard for the 2010 Winter Paralympic Games and now that it is over we needed to find new goals to aim for. The core group of Paralympic athletes have retired from racing and are now focused on coaching and developing the next generation of Para-Nordic racers. This year we have several First Contact programs scheduled whereby we invite persons with a physical disability to try cross country skiing out for the first time! We also have a Development Program for those adaptive skiers who want to further develop their ski technique and perhaps even race. We have also started the first integrated Junior Adaptive Nordic Ski program in Canada! There are three adaptive skiers in a ski program with six able-bodied skiers, between the ages of 8 and 14.

As we begin working with the next generation of adaptive skiers we find ourselves in need of coaches and of course we have room for more athletes! Contact for more details!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

CNIB Youth Ski Day

“I don’t know who enjoyed the experience more – the CNIB Youths getting out on cross country skis for the first time ever or the Junior Nordics who were guiding for the first time,” said Tony Chin, event organizer and coach of the joint Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB)-Nordic Racers Ski Club (NRSC) Para Nordic Youth Ski Day.

There were no doubts that the CNIB Youths (ranging in age from 12-19) were having a great time. The constant chatter and laughing were an obvious indication of that. But to say that they were the only youths to learn anything that day would be a huge understatement.

In a pre-session briefing the NRSC’s Junior Nordics Ski Team were taught the IPC’s (International Paralympic Committee) categories for blind/visually impaired athletes: B1 (total vision loss), B2 (visual acuity of up to 2/60) and B3 (visual acuity of up to 6/60). They quickly grasped that the guide for a B1 needs to continually talk as the B1 will follow their voice; a B3 skier is able to “see” the guide in front of them so they don’t need to talk as much but need to be in front leading the way.

When asked what they learned from the CNIB Youths, 12-year old Quinn Wildi commented on how impressed he was with their ability to find their way around in a new environment so quickly.

Of course they were also impressed by 12-year old Matthews Alvernez’ offer to pop out his “fake eyes”.

Many friendships were made and the CNIB Youth’s offered to reciprocate by teaching the Junior Nordics how to play their game, Goal Ball.

“This was a great event. The thing that made this so successful was that it was teenagers skiing with teenagers,” reflected Janet Waines with the Visual Impairment Program for SunnyHill Health Centre for Children.

More ski events are planned for next season by the Nordic Racers Ski Club in collaborations with organizations such as CNIB. This event was made possible by generous donations by Cypress Mountain and DHL Express.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Team DHL shines at Ski Nationals

Team DHL took home alot of hardware from the Canadian Cross Country Ski National Championships!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Short Distance, Interval Start, Classic Technique
Para Nordic Sit-ski M: 1st Lou Gibson (Nordic Racers, Vancouver)
Para Nordic Standing M: 3rd Meyrick Jones (Nordic Racers, Vancouver)
Para Nordic Standing W: 3rd Courtney Knight (Nordic Racers, Vancouver)
Para Nordic Standing W: 3rd Mary Benson (Nordic Racers, Vancouver)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Medium Distance, Interval Start, Free Technique
Para Nordic Sit-ski M: 1st Lou Gibson (Nordic Racers, Vancouver)
Para Nordic Standing W: 3rd Courtney Knight (Nordic Racers, Vancouver)

Friday, March 21st, 2008
Individual Sprint, Free Technique
Para Nordic Standing M: 2nd Meyrick Jones (Nordic Racers, Vancouver)
Para Nordic Standing W: 3rd Courtney Knight (Nordic Racers, Vancouver)

Sunday, March 23rd, 2008
Long Distance, Mass Start, Classic Technique
Para Nordic Sit-ski M: 1st Lou Gibson (Nordic Racers, Vancouver)

Monday, March 10, 2008

Prepping for Ski Nationals

The Canadian National Cross Country Ski Championship (aka Ski Nationals) is the first big test of the 2010 Olympic venue. Over 700 athletes and coaches are expected! In fact many athletes from other countries - the entire US National Team, for one - are participating because they too want to see how this Olympic course stacks up.

The biggest worry everyone has is getting the wax right. The high humidity in the snow at Callaghan has all these coaches worried. Word is out that the snow in Callaghan is reminiscent of Nagano in 2008. At that games many of the top skiers failed to podium because their waxes weren't working.

How worried are they? The Swedish team has approached a local ski shop to test waxes for them and is even sending some no wax skis for testing! Last month I saw the Norwegian wax techs out on the snow with their 20 pairs of skis and wax table, testing glide!

So what is Team DHL doing to get ready? We've been testing waxes in Callaghan for some time now. We are prepping the Team's skis by hot boxing (a "ski oven" which we stick skis saturated with wax into so that we can get deeper penetration of the wax into the ski base).

The conditions in Callaghan are changing constantly so until race day we don't know for sure if we dialed the waxes in properly. It's quite the science to get the wax right. We encourage everyone to come out and watch to see if we did!

- Tony, Team DHL Coach

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Thanks DHL!

My name is Meyrick Jones - I'm one of Team DHL's first racers.

Having the support of a progressive corporate sponsor will make a big difference for our group.  As athletes, we all have different goals - the National Team, the Paralympics, the BC Team etc. - DHL's support will allow Tony (our Coach) to take our training and athletic performances to the next level - specialized equipment and support that will bring each of us closer to the our goals.

So thank you DHL employees and management!  Come support us at Nationals in March (18-23) - we'd love to see a Team DHL cheering section at the Callaghan Valley!

Thanks again and stay tuned for updates from all of us!


Para Nordics Hit the Air Waves!

Vancouver’s first Para Nordic Learn to Ski Day was shown on Global TV! CCC, CCBC and the Nordic Racers Ski Club organized a Para Nordic Learn to Ski Day on February 2, 2008 in West Vancouver and the response was overwhelming. Sixteen persons with physical disabilities were introduced to cross country skiing! And we had many more responses asking for a Learn to Ski Day on a different date!

The event was captured by Global TV Morning News. Watch interviews with CCC Para Nordic Development Coordinator Jeff Whiting, Team 2010 skier Courtney Knight and Mary Benson. The segment aired Feb 13th.

How do you measure “success”? A high turnout? Well a turn out of sixteen persons with a physical disability and twenty-two volunteers (including 5 NCCP coaches) is pretty good. But perhaps the truest measure of success was the number of participants who want to take up the sport and ski again. Three of the participants were truly inspired to join the Nordic Racers Ski Club’s newly formed Para Nordic Race Team called TEAM DHL! Look for these skiers at future division races!

Many thanks to our sponsors - Cypress Bowl Recreation, DHL, CCBC and CCC (SportCanada Funding) – for which this day would not have been possible!