New biathlon gear available at Nordic Centre, Jackrabbits prepare for busy winter

Jackrabbits on one of the trails around Sun Peaks. Photo submitted.
Jackrabbits on one of the trails around Sun Peaks. Photo submitted.

The Sun Peaks Nordic Club’s JackRabbits are getting ready for another busy season on the trails. Since their start in 2013, the group made of skiers aged five to 13 and their coaches, has continued to expand, adding both members and events.

The club now has more than 40 members, up from nine in its first year, whose goal is to have fun on the snow.

“They have fun,” said head coach Christopher Nicholson. “We start with fun.”

Team members meet at weekly sessions to learn and refine their technique with coaches. Some members also travel to provincial events to meet other cross country skiers and compete, but mostly to have as much fun as possible.

Adding to the array of options for members this year is a set of new laser biathlon gear purchased with a grant received from the Kamloops Blazers Sports Society. The equipment will allow the club to set up two different sites to practise biathlon, an Olympic sport.

Nicholson said the skiers were excited to try the new sport and it fits in with the objective to have fun and be active.

“These are critical years to develop physical literacy,” said Nicholson. “It’s the development of youth in balance and co-ordination.”

Nicholson said he expects adult groups and Adaptive Sports Sun Peaks to use the gear to complement the already strong cross country offerings at the mountain.

The group will also have the chance to attend events at the new Nordic Festival to be hosted at Sun Peaks in March.

Coaches are also getting ready for the first session on Dec. 3 by participating in training courses to keep their certifications updated and improve their coaching.

“They dedicate their time to teach and to learn,” said Nicholson. “Each year they are getting better.”

Coaches, members and parents are preparing for their first ever Scrape Ski and Swap on Nov. 26 at the Nordic Centre. The day, starting at 9 a.m., will bring community members together to scrape off summer storage wax, get out on cross country trails and swap gear between families whose children may have outgrown old uniforms or skis.

For more information on the JackRabbits email
spjackrabbits@gmail.com or visit sunpeaksnordicclub.com.

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