A second successful season of the Spirit North indigenous cross country ski program wrapped up this week at Nickel Plate Nordic Centre.
Over 200 kids from West Kelowna to Oliver attended the four hours of fun and games, food and stories not to mention plenty of skiing and snowshoeing along the many kilometres of trails during the year-end festival.
In addition to West Bench Elementary and the Penticton Indian Band’s Outma Sqilx’w Cultural School, SenPokChin School of Oliver and the PIB alternative school also participated this year, along with another school from West Kelowna.
A pilot program was started at Nickel Plate last year by the Alberta-based, non-profit Spirit North organization, which expanded operations this season.
The fun actually begins early in the school year where instructors go out to the participating schools and work with the students on fitness goals then graduate to the lessons on snow.
The kids and their families can also go to the Nordic centre on their own time and use the equipment at no cost.
“Our mission is really to transform the lives of Indigenous child and youth through sport and we’re all about creating an opportunity for children who haven’t had the opportunity before to benefit from all the great things that sport can bring,” said Olympic medalist and Spirt North CEO Beckie Scott earlier. “This is so valuable if for no other reason then it’s just getting kids back outside on the land.”
Original Story: https://www.pentictonwesternnews.com/news/photos-spirit-north-program-celebrates-at-okanagan-nordic-centre/