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As we approach the Fall season and the start for many folks in the Nordic Community their journey to a Winter Event like the American Birkie, Swedish Vassaloppet, World Masters or a local 5km. For some this journey begins in Late April or Early May, but many it begins in October or when the snow starts to fall softly from the heavens. Also during this time many local ski clubs start to put ideas together for the upcoming season, reflect on the past season, look at budgets equipment etc. With those thing happening I have been hearing some crazy thoughts being said to folks you are TRULY Out There to Support Nordic. (Don’t support that group, they have different goals than ours, or I don’t like so and so) As a community we all need to sit back and look at a number of things to ensure that our sport in the USA gains traction, grows programming and develops long-term sustainability.
1. Support ALL Clubs (USSA, CXC, LNR, NESNA, NANA, FAST & Female, etc) and the things they are doing, like them or not are things that are trying to grow the sport in YOUR community.
2. Support trail Systems. Be it your local 3km loop, 20km trail with a lite section, or the Birkie Trail. All places that are being maintained for skiing require funding! So if you are skiing at a number of trail systems, sign up for even the individual membership. Put your name in the ring and go to an event the trail is having or spread the word to others. Unlike many of the European countries Nordic is not a Federally supported activity in our country (we can dream).
3. Introduce someone to the sport. There are 2 ways to do this. 1.Take someone who has never skied and get them Out There on the snow this season. Ski 1km with them on a flat section of trail and see the joy it brings. Do not take them to some World Cup course and say come on. GO somewhere that seems so easy it hurts and see what introducing someone to our sport in a positive way can do to bring a NEW dimension to the sport for you. 2. If that is to much donate to an organization such as NNF, CXC, etc. These organizations are ones that give funding to athletes as well as run “Learn to ski” programs “Skis to Schools” and such where your monies can get NEW skiers started.
I will leave you with these 3 simple things. We are not asking you to get on a trail board or give 20 hours to trail work or coaching. Start small! If the Sport of Nordic is something that you find important to you, we must learn to work together, agree to disagree and say “What we are doing, is that growing the sport in some fashion?” If we as a collective group of Trail Board Members, Parents, Kids, Shop Owners, Teachers, Manuf. Rep., etc. do this we will see OUR sport grow to NEW Heights!
We challenge you to look Out There and SEE The Forest for the Trees!
The People who think they are Crazy enough to change the World~ Are the ONES who Do!