Jackrabbits head out on the ski trail

Jodi Schellenberg
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Despite the freezing weather, children from Prince Albert and area braved the cold for some winter fun at Little Red River Park.

The Prince Albert Ski Club held the first Jackrabbit Learn to Ski day of the season on Saturday morning. The Jackrabbit program is for children 4 to 10 years old who want to cross country ski.

“If they have never skied before and their parents haven't skied, they can come out and we have enough coaches and instructors here their parents don't have to worry about skis and all that,” ski club president Adrian Orynik said. “They can come out and learn to ski.”

The program, which was restarted a couple years ago, will run every Saturday until the beginning of March, he said.

“We are doing the registration and then hopefully if some people want to brave the cold they will go out for a ski,” Orynik said. “We have some really good inspiring leaders here that if it is cold they can make it fun. You may not go for an hour, but maybe for half an hour and have some fun.”

There were about 10 kids who registered for the program on Saturday and they can sign up any Saturday morning until the end of the program in March.

“Hopefully we will have around 30 kids sign up for it,” Orynik said. “It is cheap – it is only $20 and that gives you all the groomed trails out here.”

The registration fee helps pay for keeping the trails at Little Red groomed by the ski club.

“People don't understand that the city doesn't take care of the trails out here,” Orynik said. “The way we are able to groom the trails is through the memberships and the Jackrabbit program.

“The city doesn't offset all our costs for grooming and maintaining the trails so if people want to ski these trails they have to be a member of the club,” he added. “Anyone can be a member of the club. It is $45 for the year.”

There are more than 30 kilometres of ski trails at the park and Orynik said the ski club tries to have them groomed within 24 hours of a snowfall.

Skiing is a great way to have family fun in the winter, which is why people should come out on Saturdays.

“Lots of people are active in the summer and then it stops in the winter,” Orynik said. “It gets too cold and the kids stay inside in front of the TV.

“Cross country skiing doesn't have to be boring and this type of program shows that skiing can be fun,” he added.

The instructors have different cross country skiing activities set up for the youngsters, including jumps at the bottom of hills and learning new skills.

“It is not walking on skis -- it is gliding through the snow and you learn how to climb up a hill and come ripping down,” Orynik said. “It is a fun way to be active and get your kids away from a video game system.”

For more information about the Jackrabbit program or to register as a member, visit their website at www.paskiclub.ca.

Organizations: Prince Albert Ski Club

Geographic location: Little Red

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