100 Mile House Elementary School’s Grade 3 students are learning to cross-country ski at the 100 Mile House Nordics ski trails.
It is a yearly tradition for Grade 3 elementary students. Ski S’kool, is a program which allows every Grade 3 child in the area a chance to try out cross-country skiing.
The school’s vice principal, Shawn Nelson, said it’s only an activity the school organizes for students in the third grade.
“I think they chose that grade because the age of the children, it’s a good age to expose children to the sport. They are at an age where they have the ability to balance and are able to actually ski.”
The 100 Mile Nordics Ski Society has put on the Ski S’kool program for three years. The students are split up into two groups – English and French immersion. Each group of children get two sessions with the instructors during the Winter season.
“I think the students are really enthusiastic about coming to this,” said Nelson. “They really enjoy getting out on the skis – some have never done this before, so it’s great to expose them to it.”
Lydia Degroot, has been a member of the 100 Mile House Nordics Ski Society for roughly 10 years. She is the coordinator of Ski S’kool. She said the students learn basics of cross-country skiing – gliding, going up and down hills and most importantly, balancing.
“We had a lot of fun and so did the kids,” said Degroot. “We were able to practice a lot of skills with the children because the weather conditions were perfect, especially the fresh snow.”
After receiving a grant to buy equipment, the Nordics Society was able to organize the program with the local school board district. The program is free of charge.
All of the kids can go and they are not restricted due to financial support,” said Degroot. “The kids are great to work with – they listen. I can’t believe how fast they catch on to the body mechanics, from something like falling down and getting back up. All of the coaches, parents, teachers and assistants volunteer the time to make it happen.”
Like any sport, there are sometimes a few not in favour, but after talking with Nelson, all of the children seemed to enjoy themselves.
Degroot said her favourite part is seeing the kids smiles. She can tell how happy the students get after accomplishing something new or the students who are timid at first, but suddenly realize they can do it.
“I have a lot of fun doing this,” said Degroot.
“I am thankful for everyone who helps out, it takes a lot of people to organize something like this for the students.”