Joint funding gives Fredericton cross-country skiers more room to move

Recent joint funding has helped add to the Killarney Lake trail system, giving cross-country skiers of all skill levels in Fredericton even more trails to spend the winter gliding through.

Chilly temperatures didn’t stop a few hundred people from taking part in the first day of the Wostawea Ski Club‘s Learn to Ski program which kicked off Saturday morning.

The club, which has registered as many as 700 members in the past, helps new and intermediate skiers improve their technique. It also holds fun events and competitive races.

“We’ve got 85 children signed up. We also have about 40 adults,” explained Wostawea President John Ball of the Day 1 numbers. “I think that’s the most we’ve ever had.”

Introducing the sport to new skiers is something the club aims to do and recent joint funding has helped increase the space it has to do just that.

“The particularly exciting thing this season is our new trails,” Ball said. “We raised some money through ACOA and the provincial government and the City of Fredericton and cooperated with the city to build some new trails that meet an international standard of cross-country skiing excellence.”

Fredericton athlete Louis Fortin is no stranger to the world stage, having competed at the 2014 Paralympic Games in Sochi.

While he is quick to praise the beauty of New Brunswick trails, he’s excited about the challenge that the new terrain will pose.

“When you compete on international events, for example, all the trails are tested and you need to have a certain amount of elevation and incline as well in your hills. Before, we didn’t have that, the trails were pretty flat,” Fortin said.

“But the new system, the way they designed it and the way it will be next year is actually almost equal to any other site that I can go on internationally.”

The 39-year-old math teacher is currently training for the world championships taking place this winter in Korea.

He’s happy that these trails will allow him to travel less to train for the sport that’s taken him around the world.

“For training, I don’t need to go now to other places in Quebec or the States,” he explained. “I can just stay here and train in New Brunswick so for me it’s great.”

Whether you’re just starting out or training for international competition, Wostawea says the 20 kilometres at Killarney have something for everyone.

“They’re also great trails for recreational skiers,” he said. “They’re just fun to ski on.”


Article Source: Global News

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