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Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Thanks for a great (though short) season!

Well, even by our standards, we can no longer deny that the season has come to an end. Thanks to those families who came out for a ski at Birds Hill. It was really icy, but a good last ski. 



A special thanks this year to our new coaches - Sarah, Chad and Emily, who came on board in this bizarre time and helped make the program possible. And a very special shout out to Emily, who is finishing her Masters, studying Architecture at U of M this year. We don't know what the future holds for her or where she will be off to, but we wish her well! We have really enjoyed her enthusiasm and passion for skiing. And if she happens to find herself in Winnipeg next year we would be thrilled to have her back!

Watch for emails in the fall as we hopefully get back to some normal programming!

Until then have a great spring and summer!

Adam, Ted, Sarah, Chad and Emily
Coaches, Wildwood Jackrabbits

Friday, March 12, 2021

March 13 - Ski/Hike at Birds Hill Park

Wildwood ski trails are done. Windsor park has closed official use for the year, but the trails (what is left of them) are technically open. The season is drawing to a close. Some would say it is over. They are probably right. 

We have been watching the trail reports and it looks like Birds Hill might, potentially, be somewhat skiable... on some of the trails... with minor portages necessary. Basically it is pretty sketchy. 

But, ever the optimists, and with nothing else on our agenda for Saturday morning, here is the plan: the coaches are going to Birds Hill tomorrow. We may ski. We may hike. If anyone wants to come along and take what nature gives us, we'd be happy to have you! (zero pressure!) Bring your skis, bring your hiking gear, and bring a snack and water. We will be there at 10:30 and will organize... something. It is also a good chance for families to do some exploring on their own too. There are lots of great hiking trails there!  

We'll meet at the Chikadee parking lot. Watch for the Jackrabbits sign!

A reminder that Park Passes are required for provincial parks. 

If you'd like to join us please indicate in teamsnap and we'll watch for you. 

We are canceling all the remaining sessions. If we can go out again we will, but it looks like the season has come to an end. 

Thanks for a great (though shortened) season. We really enjoyed skiing with you all this year, even (or perhaps especially) in these strange times. We may have one or two more notes this year, but watch for news in the fall about next year. 

Friday, March 5, 2021

March 6 - Snowball Biathlon

We still have snow! And it is warm enough that we can do another one of our traditions - the snowball biathlon! This is often one of our end of season days since we need enough snow to ski, but it needs to be warm enough for snowballs.  Group 1 is going to lay out the course and the rest of us follow, staggering the groups. Several of the coaches have been out over the past little while, and if the tracks maintain their consistency, it will be great for double pole work. 

A reminder that we are still observing all provincial health restrictions, including:

  1. If you are sick, stay home. Including being in contact with people who are (or may be) sick.
  2. use TeamSnap to record your attendance (for contact tracing) and for health screening. 
  3. Masks are required. Neck warmers don't count. 
  4. Maintain 2m physician distance at all times (parents/caregivers your help here is important). 

We have 4 coaches this week, so there is a small change in the groups. Look to your email for the details. 


Thursday, February 25, 2021

February 27

It was great to get out last weekend. The weather hasn't been kind to the trails, but we can certainly ski! This weekend we are going to do our wild (stuffie) animal hunt! This will mostly be a ski around the course to find various animal friends hidden in trees and other places along the path. We'll also do some warmup in our groups and maybe some skills work on the grid or time on the hill (it will depend a bit on conditions Saturday). 

In terms of COVID safety, please remember:

  1. if you are sick, stay home. 
  2. screen before you come (use the screener in team snap)
  3. wear a mask (neck warmers don't count)
  4. maintain 2m distance (if your poles or skis can touch, you are too close)

Please indicate your attendance on TeamSnap  (you'll get a reminder). It is how we are recording for contact tracing. 

Parents/Guardians are encouraged to ski with their children for the hunt. It will let us spread out a bit more and we can be a bit more independent in terms of time to complete the course. It is also a fun family activity! 

We also have Jackrabbit Toques and Books, If you haven't received your toque or booklet, please see coach Chad. Speaking of toques, the 2022 Toque Design Contest is open! Deadline is March 11 and it is open to all skiers 5-9 years old. 


Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Return to Sport! Saturday Feb 20 10:30

We are thrilled to be able to gather for skiing practices starting Saturday!

As you can imagine, there are lots of things we need to put in place to be safe. We have had lots of conversations about how to make this work and good support from our provincial and national bodies. That said,  if you see things that you are not comfortable with, or suggestions to make this better, please let us know. Fundamentally, you need to be comfortable with all this and you need to make the choice that is right for you and your family about attending. 

There is lots to cover, so here we go!

General precautions:

If you are sick, self isolating or have been in contact with someone who is sick or self isolating, stay home. This is one of the most important things we can do to limit the spread of COVID.  

All participants (adults and children) should self-screen before attending using the Government of Manitoba Screening tool (https://sharedhealthmb.ca/covid19/screening-tool/). If you are in doubt, stay home.   

Physical distancing. At all times stay 2m apart. Luckily for us our sport has built in devices we refer to as POLES (Personal Offset Length Evaluators): if you can touch someone or their skis or poles with your skis or poles, you are too close. Now, we don't want kids waving their poles around to see who is too close, but it is a good visual. Parents/Guardians, please help remind your kids of this before and during the sessions. Kids have a terrible time with physical distancing (as you are likely all very well aware). 

Masks are required except while actually out on the trails skiing. Neck warmers (alone) don't count as masks. 

We will be doing contract tracing using TeamSnap. You have probably seen an invitation to that already, please register for your child and record their attendance. You'll get reminders. It is pretty cool and easy actually. Email us if you have problems. Using this will also let us plan for the kids who will be coming instead of needing to adjust the day-of based on who attends (which is more challenging given all the COVID restrictions). 

The clubhouse is closed. We always meet outdoors anyway, but the clubhouse has been opened for 'bathroom emergencies'. It isn't now. 

Groups

We are going to have 4 groups that will stay completely separate for the session. We will meet at different places as indicated by the map below. It is important to arrive on time and be ready to go at 10:30 as the groups will be splitting up and heading out quickly to limit contact. 

If you have concerns about any of the group assignments or would like siblings to be together (or not) let us know. These can be adjusted. Track Attack 2 is the most advanced, experienced skiers. Jackrabbits 1 are the most junior (and often youngest) skiers. Kids are mostly grouped by age, with some adjustments for skill. 

Parents/guardians are free to ski with their kids. Jackrabbits 1, this is more important as you need to be able to help your kids. For the other groups it is less critical and you are also free to go enjoy a ski on your own if you like. 

As this is the first session for many, we should note that we meet on the golf course across the road from the soccer field that is north of the Clubhouse. There is a parking area right off the road. If you are coming down Oakenwald, turn left at the stop sign at North drive and the parking is right there. We will have a sign. It is generally fairly obvious. Don't go to the clubhouse. 


[Please contact us for group information]

Arrival and Departure

Please be at your spot and ready to go at 10:30. The groups need to head out promptly so we don't have a lot of congestion. 

When you arrive, please go directly to your group's meeting spot. There will be coaches around to help. 

Departure will be from your groups. We will try to stagger this a bit. Please proceed directly back to your car. We have in the past had chocolates after the sessions. Unfortunately that isn't something we can do during covid. For new kids that won't be a big deal (just don't tell them!). For some of our returning skiers, parents may need to prepare them for serious disappointment, or take chocolate dispensing matters into your own hands. 

The entrance area onto the golf course and soccer field are a bit narrow, so please wait by your car if there is congestion. Please also take your gear into the field or golf course to put on (don't linger in the entrance area). Only take what you need so there isn't too much scattered around. 

Jackrabbits 1

A special note for our youngest skiers. Poles will not be needed during this lesson. You can leave them in the car. 

A few last notes. 

There are lots of rules and constraints, but mostly the basics of physical distancing and mask wearing will keep us on the right track. While we are excited to have everyone out and skiing, we are also very aware that we need to do everything we can to run a program that is safe given our current reality. Above all patience and kindness will win the day. 

Please email us with any questions or concerns.

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Of Pandemic Restrictions and Polar Vortices

Good news and bad news. 

Good news! :)

We have curved the cases down and the health restrictions are loosening up. It looks like we will be able to get back to skiing! The new changes that will take affect Friday say this:

"allowing outdoor sports facilities to reopen for casual sports as well as organized practices and games, with multi-team tournaments not permitted;"

This seems to fit us, and doesn't speak to any limit on people. We are working with the CCSAM to see if there is any more specific guidance. There will of course be instructions on social distancing and whatnot, but it looks promising. Lucky for us we have our POLES (Personal Offset Length Evaluators) - if you can touch someone with your pole you are too close. And also, don't touch people with your poles. So stay tuned, but we are hopeful. 

Bad News :(

The forecast shows the coldest time in the next 10 days is... you guessed it...10am Saturday morning, with a face-freezing -47. So even if we could ski, we probably wouldn't... probably. We are watching the forecast closely. Think warm thoughts. 

So if it isn't a global pandemic, it is a polar vortex conspiring against our skiing. But! The long term forecast shows a very respectable -21 the following Saturday.

We'll keep you posted on pandemic protocols, and a safe return to skiing.  

For now, do a little snow dance to encourage some fresh snow and gear up for the 20th. 

More to come.

Snow Snow Snow!

 

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Zoom Meeting January 29th at 7:00pm

We are coming out of the deep freeze now and the weekend is looking awesome. We are offering another virtual coaching session Friday for anyone would would like. We'll take your lead on what to chat about. We can talk dressing for the weather, games to play, waxing, gear, you name it, we are ready! We'd love to here where you have been and what some of your successes are. 

As always, this is totally optional. There is not pressure to attend. If it is helpful, we are here.
 
We are pegging this for 30 minutes. We are happy to go longer if we need. 

Email if you'd like a link to attend. 

Also, registration closes on the 31st of January. If you are holding out hope to participate, then now is the time! Consider it an act if defiant hope!