Cross-country skiing is a very inexpensive ‘lifetime’ sport, suitable for individuals of all ages and abilities. This sport is low impact, activates all the body's major muscle groups and is excellent for the cardiovascular system. Physically, it is an ideal activity and a whole lot of fun!
The Skill Development Program for Children is operated by the Williams Lake Cross Country Ski Club for children up to 12 years of age, with the emphasis on fun, participation, skill development and safety. The objective of the program is to provide the opportunity for children to move through the sport at their own ‘speed’, based on their ability, skills and interests.
The program is designed to help children develop excellent ski technique through a vertically integrated continuum of skier development opportunities, beginning with Bunny rabbits, followed by Jackrabbits and concluding with Track Attack. This reflects the emphasis on achieving program goals in an atmosphere that is fun and exciting for children.
This exciting program is held at Bull Mountain Ski Area, operated by the Williams Lake Cross Country Ski Club. The sessions take place on Sundays from 1 pm to 3 pm and Wednesdays from 5:30 to 7 pm, starting in December and running through to early March.
Bunnyrabbit Program (up to 5 years)
The first level of the SDP is the Bunnyrabbit program, which is directed at children in the ‘Active Start’ stage of athlete development (children five years of age and younger). The objective is to introduce cross-country skiing and the healthy lifestyle associated with it through organized activity and active play. In addition, it is designed to:
- Help children develop a positive self-image
- Be fun
- Provide children an opportunity to make ski friends
- Develop fundamental movement skills
- Help children develop an awareness and appreciation of the natural environment
Jackrabbit Program (6 to 9 years)
The Jackrabbit Program, which is directed at skiers in the ‘FUNdamentals’ stage of athlete development (children six to nine years of age) is the second level of the SDP. The objective is for children to learn basic cross-country ski skills (both classic and skating) and to instill a lifelong interest in the sport, thereby enhancing their quality of life and health. In addition, it is designed to:
- Help children develop confidence
- Be fun
- Provide children an opportunity to ski and socialize with their ski friends
- Build overall motor skills
- Help children develop outdoor winter safety skills
Track Attack Program (10 to 12 years)
The Track Attack Program, which is directed at children in the ‘Learning to Train’ stage of athlete development (children 10 to 12 years of age), is the third level of the SDP. The objective is for the participants to become technically competent cross-country skiers and to utilize their skills to explore a wide range of cross-country ski activities, from back country excursions to Ski Tournaments. In addition, it is designed to:
- Develop fitness through active play, games and other activities
- Be fun
- Provide children an opportunity to be part of a sport ‘team’
- Develop overall sport skills
- Expose children to a variety of ‘adventure-based’ cross-country ski activities
Bull Mountain Racers (9 years and up)
This new racing program follows Cross Country Canada’s Long-Term Athlete Development model (LTAD) and strives to provide age-appropriate instruction and training for all skiers involved. Further information on the LTAD model can be found at crosscountrybc.ca.
Complete information on this new program can be found at our download page.
JACKRABBIT SESSION DATES
Sundays 1 – 3 pm. starting in December and running until March.
Wednesday evenings from 5:30 – 7 (optional, but recommended for Jackrabbit and Track Attack levels). Dates can be found on our Jackrabbit registration form on our Downloads page.
We will place your child into a group at the appropriate skill level and age. Please provide as much detail as possible about your child’s ability, experience, fitness level and any medical concerns on the back of the registration form.
PARENT VOLUNTEERS: Parent involvement is the key for success of the Skill Development Program and can only continue to grow with the participation of parents. This year we may be short on coaches so we would like to have parent volunteers ski with the Bunnyrabbit and Level 1 & 2 Jackrabbits. Each parent should be prepared to ski with their child’s group for at least one session. This will help to ensure that there are at least two adults with each group.
How to register
The Jackrabbit Registration form will soon be available on our downloads page and at the Bull Mountain Warming Hut. The form includes a description of development levels and their goals.
Registration can be mailed to the club or brought with payment to the first session.
Payment must accompany registration.
We will place your child into a group at the appropriate skill level and age. Please provide as much detail as possible on the back of the registration form about your child’s ability, experience, fitness level, and any medical concerns.
Adult lessons will be offered again this year. They were taught in packages of two lessons, on Saturday and Sunday over one weekend. We would like to offer the same again this year. Keep an eye on our blog and Facebook page for further information on dates and times.