First, a big thank you to all our volunteers!
The Kimberley Nordic Club (KNC) is back in full swing, and eager to begin the cross country ski season. With thousands of volunteer hours, grants and local business support, the club will enjoy many great improvements to our facility and programs this year. Below are some of the highlights of what has been happening in the club, and what the future holds:
Following the recent snowfall, the snowmobile has already been out testing the new snow compactor, and skiers have been spotted on the trails, although it is still early days and rock skis are necessary. But with a bit more snow, the trails will be in much better shape. As we have had two separate volunteer work parties this fall to spread wood chips onto some of our rockier trails, there should be better skiing in the early season.
Our most notable recent improvement is the six-figure investment in stadium and trails, with over 6 km of single and double track trails added. The KNC received generous grants from both the Columbia Basin Trust and the BC Rural Dividend Fund towards this project. Some of the new trails still need to be named, so if you think you might have the perfect name, please fill out the online poll through our “Trails with No Name” form . Stadium improvements include an expanded area and a race timing hut to improve our instructional and event experience. The KNC is now well-poised to host a larger event, such as a NorAm or Western Canadian Championships, in the 2019-20 season, which will bring Kimberley back into the forefront as a cross country skiing centre of excellence. And in addition to our expanded trail network, we are planning to groom the trails more often throughout the week to provide better skiing, more of the time. Our Live Grooming Reports, KNC Weather Station and Live Webcam are available through our website have been very popular and are a great reminder that when it’s raining in Cranbrook the skiing is often great in Kimberley!
After a successful ten years as club president, Derm Kennedy has decided to pass on the torch, and the role has been filled by Tony Hetu (President) and Mark Koenig (Co-President). Throughout Derm’s leadership the club has seen a lot of changes with the building of our new clubhouse, a new maintenance garage, a new Prinoth Bigcat grooming machine, a ski rental program, steady membership growth, and responsible fiscal management. The future direction of the board will include a focus of representing all types of skiers and programs.
With the growth of our club comes the challenge of increased volume, which is most apparent in our limited parking space. Currently the KNC is working together with the City of Kimberley to improve the parking lot, as well as overflow event parking. Expect more changes next summer, but for now, we will need to contend with tight parking, so please be considerate and courteous with your parking.
Our skier development programs are in high demand and are experiencing growth to the point of having to cap registration numbers to ensure the delivery of quality programs. With the success of these programs, the Kimberley Nordic Racers are well represented and making a name for themselves at both National and International events. New program starts, like the Biathlon and Ski School program, are steadily gaining traction. Cross Country Canada recently awarded the KNC a $6000 grant towards our new Ski School program, which was also supported by a recent fundraiser from Scotiabank that helped raise another $3000. This year, the Ski School program will be concentrating on Grade 3 and 4 students in Kimberley, to provide them with equipment and qualified instructors for several weeks.
In order to support our expanding youth development, the club has employed a new head coach, Tim Wintoniw. Tim has planted roots in Kimberley and offers the club previous experience with the Canada's National Development team, as well as vast knowledge with other grassroots programs.
Last ski season, the KNC made its mark as the third largest ski club in BC (and 5th largest in Canada), competing with Sovereign Lake (Vernon), Telemark (Kelowna), Caledonia (Prince George) and Larch Hills (Salmon Arm), all of which have much larger population bases. We are hoping to continue this pattern of growth, and early season numbers are extremely encouraging. Memberships can be purchased either online, or in-person at the Kiosk on weekends (10am-2pm), until the trails are fully open. Early-bird prices are in effect until the end of the month.
As mentioned above, our club has thrived due to the generous support of our volunteers. You can sign up as a volunteer on your membership form, or contact us through our website to be placed on a volunteer list.
Please come and enjoy our world-class facility.
Kimberley Nordic Club Executive Board
Below is a photo taken on Nov. 7th, 2018