This fall the defending Ontario University (OUA) Champion Carleton University Nordic Ski Team has been working hard on and off the trails, prepping for our upcoming season. In an attempt to build on our team’s success from last year, we’re raising the bar even higher. Aside from a repeat performance at OUA’s, one of the team’s main goals this year is to have a successful nationals. This is important to us as it not only allows us to take part in a national level competition but it is also an opportunity to showcase the fact that skiing while pursuing full time university is completely possible.
In the past, we have never had the resources to send a full team to Nationals. Owing to this, the only Carleton athletes who were able to attend were those who were apart of other clubs. This year we are looking to change this by sending a team of 9 athletes, as well as a coach to represent Carleton at Nationals in Canmore, Alberta. The purpose of this campaign is to offset the costs of flights, accommodation and coach support needed for 10 days in Canmore.
Over the past two years, both our men’s and women’s teams come home with one OUA team win apiece. Some, but not all, of the contributing team members made the trip to nationals those years and even with a smaller team, we’ve come away with six medals in the past two years. Although these are great results for our team, we have not yet been able to secure an overall title for either gender.
Perhaps more importantly, we have not been able to properly demonstrate the quality of Carleton’s ski program at nationals. There are already so few university ski programs in Canada that having one less at nationals could mean losing potential skiers who have decided that it is not possible to continue skiing as well as pursuing school.
The major reason for our low attendance is the cost. Nationals costs an average of $2000 every year for airfare, rental vehicles, accommodation, food and waxing. As it is not a school funded race, it is very difficult for full time students to justify. Furthermore, historically, athletes who have gone to Nationals have had to rely on finding other clubs to wax their skis for the races. The problem with this is that since the athletes are not a part of those clubs, their skis do not get priority for waxing and that can seriously impact how a race goes.
Our goal is to raise $1500 to cover the cost of bringing our coach to nationals. The $1500 will cover transportation, accommodation, food and waxing. This will benefit the team of 9 athletes representing Carleton as it will provide us with wax and race support that we would otherwise not have.
Sending a full team to nationals would be a first for the Carleton Nordic Ski Team. This will be a huge step for our program and hopefully, a stepping stone for even further progression. Nationals is the one race all year that every skier wants to go to. The team has grown over the past few years, in both membership and performance. Having an option for a national’s trip will surely increase both of these measures. This, in our opinion, is what it is all about. Along with working hard for results, we are aiming to promote the idea of university skiing to younger athletes. There are limited options for continuing to ski post-secondary in Canada and we want to make sure that graduating students know how great Carleton’s program is. Nationals is the one time of the year where every Nordic skier in the country converges to one area. There is no better time for us to showcase our team. Good performances on the trails as well as a good presentation at the annual “University Skiing in Canada” presentation will go a long way. Therefore, contributions will not only go to present Ravens, but also the Ravens of the future.