Cross-country skiers prepare for winter fun

Cross-country skiers prepare for winter fun

The Fort Smith ski club held its annual general meeting and election last Thursday night and set in motion plans for winter events.

A core group of organizers attended the AGM at the Nordic Centre to return Don True as club president. Patti Kay Hamilton, who is the club’s biathlon coach, stepped up to become club vice president and the representative for the NWT Ski Division. Linda Martin will continue as treasurer and Mike Vassal as secretary.

A new deck was installed on the club house over the summer, completing the construction project that True had started and led for a number of years. The club now has a first-rate heated facility.

The deck enhances the social possibilities of the clubhouse and there was discussion on rates and rules and if liquor should be allowed, if someone was to rent it.  Discussions following that centered around the next stage of development – the installation of lights for some of the trails. That initiative will be planned, fund-raised and then worked on over next summer.

Event planning included talks of a biathlon cup race in early February and setting the date for the Fitz-Smith Loppet next March. Club numbers are expected to be up again this year as the numbers of families who join with small children continue to grow.  Around 20 youth are already registered for the jack-rabbit program that has been underway already for two weeks. It is led once again by Juneva Green.  A number of social events for club members will also be held over the winter.

True reported that the club loop trail system had been badly damaged by ATVs and dirt bikes over the summer and that heavy equipment had to be brought in to make repairs. He noted that two local contractors had donated equipment for the work. A trail cleaning blitz was organized to whip the classic trails into shape. The trails are extensive, with a number of loops and the loppet trail that extends all the way to Fitzgerald. A number of crews went out over the weekend and scoured them to clear off deadfall.

The club, which is said to be the oldest club continuously operating in the NWT, has its organization in place and is set to make the most of the long northern winter. They will welcome newcomers at an open house, Saturday afternoon, Nov 26 at the Nordic Centre along with a poker ski. The day of fun activities will end with appies and deserts.

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