Nordic Skiing

Fernie Nordic Racers focus on respect, teamwork, participation and FUN in Fernie.

There is no shortage of sports, activities, events, and athletes in the Elk Valley. It is not uncommon to see athletes of every age participating and competing in multiple races and competitions throughout all of our four seasons. This winter we thought we would highlight some of our local sports teams and organizations.

Known as the “Sport for Life,” Nordic skiing is an excellent sport or activity for any age or ability. With the addition of the Elk Valley Nordic Centre and the Montane trails in recent years along with golf course trails, Island Lake, Fernie Alpine Resort and even skiing the dyke to your friend’s house for beers mid-winter; Fernie offers a plethora of cross-country ski terrain. The Fernie Nordic Society has done an excellent job growing the sport here in Fernie and for the past three seasons the Fernie Nordic Racers have amplified their training and racing through a very inclusive and supportive club, focusing on participation, fun and being part of a team.

Head coach Jeff Williams and assistant coach Naomi Lentz, along with other volunteer coaches and parent volunteer wax technicians, have a group of 22 youth ranging from nine to16 years of age that train together and participate in the Teck Kootenay Cup race series throughout the winter. The team starts dryland training in September. Rollerskiing, running and working on strength and fitness at CrossFit Fernie to prepare for the season. During the winter months they train Tuesday and Fridays for one hour after school, and two hours on Saturday, with some of the older athletes continuing training on Sundays. Their main goal is to establish a healthy, nurturing, competitive environment. While they focus on skill development and growth, the team also puts a strong emphasis on promoting values such as tolerance, fairness and responsibility. The Fernie Nordic Racers are in their third season and they have seen the group grow from seven kids to the 22 they have today. They are also the current two-time Teck Kootenay Cup Champions. This race series consists of approximately five race events across the Kootenay region. Our Fernie Nordic Racers will have been in Kimberley January 14 and 15 as well as Invermere on January 28.  The Fernie Nordic Society is hosting Kootenay Cup #4 in Fernie on February 11. This will be held in conjunction with their Winterfest. Visit Fernienordic.com/events for more information.

FNR head coach Williams has also recently started up Thunder Bear Nordic. His business offers waxing for both classic and skate skis as well as high quality poles from KV+ and Nordic accessories. Williams also offers clinics and private and group lessons. Check out Thunder Bear Nordic Facebook page and message for more information.

While there are many sports, programs and activities in our valley, those involved in Nordic skiing and a part of the Fernie Nordic Racers know they are involved in a lifelong sport that offers a fun and healthy environment.