The Soo Finnish Nordic Ski Club offers a number of programs for skiers of all levels. Adult recreational skiers can improve their skills and fitness by participating in the Adult Lessons program. Competitive skiers have the opportunity to ski with the Senior and Junior Ski Teams and Biathlon Development Team. Younger participants can enroll in the Youth Skills Development Programs (Bunnyrabbits, Jackrabbits, Track Attack and Racing Rabbits) and the Biathlon Bears program.
The Youth Skills Development program provides young children with the opportunity to have fun and learn to ski at the same time.
The Jackrabbit Ski League
The Jackrabbit Ski League is the most successful program run by Cross Country Canada in terms of number of participants and geographic diversity. In 2005, 9,000 skiers were registered across Canada in more than 300 clubs. Since its inception in l980, the Jackrabbit Ski League has introduced over 125,000 Canadian children to cross country skiing. In Ontario, the jackrabbit program is organized by Cross Country Ontario and is offered in communities throughout Ontario. The Soo Finnish Nordic Ski Club is part of the Northern Ontario District of Cross Country Ontario.
The Jackrabbit Program was named after the legendary ski pioneer, Hermann “Jackrabbit” Smith-Johannsen – a Norwegian immigrant who lived and skied to the tender age of 112. “Jackrabbit” attributed his long life partially to cross country skiing, a healthy outdoor life and always striving for his personal best. Many of our current Olympic stars, including Beckie Scott and Sarah Renner, got their start in their local Jackrabbit Programs.
Children seem to have an innate love of sliding. The longer and faster the better. It’s no wonder that, given the opportunity, they take to cross country skiing almost as quickly as to riding a piece of cardboard down the nearest slope. Learn-to-ski and skill development programs designed for children and youth take advantage of that spirit of playfulness but also add the satisfactions of making friends, learning and achievement.
The Jackrabbit Ski League is a skill development program for children. The program objectives are for children to:
- have fun
- improve fitness, balance and coordination
- develop classic and skating ski skills
- make friends
- participate in time trials and races as an introduction to competition (optional)
- develop positive self-esteem
- develop an awareness and appreciation of our natural environment
- develop good technique and lifestyle habits early in life.
The Jackrabbit Ski Program runs from late December to Mid-March for 10-12 sessions depending on the weather (possible cancellation for cold days). Lessons are on Saturdays from 10:00am to 12:00pm at Hiawatha Highlands.
Annual Program Reports