Learn to cross-country ski at Summerstown Trails

Provided by Friends of the Summerstown Trails
Learn to cross-country ski at Summerstown Trails
Program instructor Rene Sauvé seen here "doing like popcorn" with some of the kids in last year's Jackrabbit program. Submitted photo.

SUMMERSTOWN, Ontario – Again this year, a Jackrabbit program for kids aged 3 to 12 will be offered this coming winter season by the Summerstown Coyote Nordiq Club which is an entity of the Friends of the Summerstown Trails. The Jackrabbit Program is a national program developed and delivered by Cross-Country Ski Canada.

Named after Herman “Jackrabbit” Johansen, a Norwegian credited with introducing cross-country skiing to Canada and the United States in the 1920s and 30s, the overall objective of the Jackrabbit Program is to assist children aged 3 to 12 in developing of a love of the outdoors, a healthy lifestyle, and a good level of physical fitness using cross-country skiing, focusing on fun activities and games.

The sessions will be led by NCCP (National Coaching Certification Program) instructor René Sauvé who has close to 30 years of experience in leading this program, most notably at the Pembroke Nordic Ski Club. René’s motto is “Ski for life.” He firmly believes that “you can start cross-country skiing at age 3 and enjoy it throughout your life, even when you’re in your 80’s and 90’s.”

This year, the participants will be divided into two groups: the “bunnyrabbits” for kids aged 3 to 5, and the “jackrabbits” for those 6 to 12. The sessions for both programs will be offered on Sunday afternoons at 1:00 p.m., starting January 10 and will consist of eight sessions for the younger group and ten sessions for the older group. A season rental package for the equipment is also offered.

XC Ski lessons for students and adults. Cross-country ski lessons will again be offered this year for students and adults. New this year: separate classes will be offered for classic and for skate skiing. The courses will consist of basic instruction for both styles of skiing.

These sessions will also be led by NCCP instructor René Sauvé who led these programs last year. The sessions will be offered on Sunday mornings and there will consist of eight one hour-long sessions. For those who don’t own the required ski equipment, a season rental package will be offered to the participants.

FOTST president, Vic Leroux concludes by saying: “The Summerstown Trails provide the perfect setting to offer these programs: it’s outdoors, our main trail is more than two metres wide and we have developed a COVID master plan in order to offer a safe environment to our volunteers and participants in which to conduct our activities. This plan meets the requirements of the Eastern Ontario Health Unit.”

Visit the Summerstown Trails website at www.summerstowntrails.com for more information and to register for these programs.

The Summerstown Trails are situated on Summerstown Road, 1.6 km north of exit 804 of the 401.

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