Soo Finnish Nordic Hires a Full Time Head Coach!

Soo Finnish Nordic Ski Club is investing in local athletes with the hire of a full time head coach. Declan MacDougall has been selected to lead this vibrant group of cross country skiers beginning April 15, 2024.

Declan brings a wealth of practical knowledge, strong community connections, and a passion for the sport of cross country skiing. He has high performance racing experience on provincial ski teams, has assistant coached with Soo Finnish Nordic and North Bay Nordic, has ongoing experience in the role of Para Nordic guide, and has raced at the varsity level while studying at Nipissing University in the Bachelor of Physical and Health Education program.

With the return to Sault Ste. Marie, Declan says he is ready to put his years of training, preparation, and racing into action. Beyond the thrill of once again sporting the Soo Finnish Nordic club gear, Declan says he is most looking forward to the opportunity to make a positive impact in his home community.

The new head coach role will plan and deliver ski team athlete training, provide race support, and oversee the development of all club skiers, coaches, and community members seeking recreational ski instruction. “Declan exemplifies the values of our club by working extremely hard for many years to be his best, and giving back to the community where he grew up. We are confident that under his leadership our athletes will thrive year-round, both on and off the ski trails.” says Amy Wheeler Reich, SFNSC President.

Funding for this new head coaching position was received, in part, through the National Winter Sports Development Association (NWSDA). Formed in 2008, the NWSDA has provided a consistent stream of funding towards the development of Canadian cross country skiers from coast to coast to coast. The funding is centred on helping clubs pay for and develop coaches who will allow internationally competitive athletes to flourish.

Declan will take his first big step as head coach this month when he attends the Nordiq Canada coaching conference in Canmore, Alberta. Dryland training will start in mid-May for SFN athletes under his direction.

Soo Finnish Nordic Ski Club has a 70+ year history of providing both recreational and competitive cross country skiing. As a registered club of Nordiq Canada and Cross Country Ski Ontario, our club consists of over 400 members who create opportunities to promote cross country skiing to people of all ages and abilities, including year-round youth programming, adult lessons, educational and social events. The club collaborates with and supports local partners and land owners to maintain winter recreation trails, and grooms 50 km of cross country ski trails, 14 km of snowshoe trails, and 9 km of fat bike trails with the help of its business, Hiawatha Highlands.