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About Team XC Ottawa and www.xcottawa.ca . . .

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Mission Statement:

XC Ottawa will:

Values:

XC Ottawa is:

Who are we and what do we do?

XC Ottawa started in 2001 as a bunch of senior-level skiers that ended up in Ottawa. We all wanted to ski at a very high level, and have the support that is required to ski at that level, but we also wanted to do other things in our lives that allowed us to have healthy, balanced lifestyles - things like work and school. At that time, Canada had no real options for skiers looking for high-level training and racing groups that would allow them pursue secondary goals. We in Ottawa knew that the Ottawa-Gatineau region offered the perfect opportunity for this type of team to succeed - a unique combination of a thriving and diverse regional economy, with some of the best training and racing networks in the country. Coupled with a strong ski community, this was the perfect place to start an independent racing team!!

XC Ottawa has grown tremendously since then, while staying centred on our core values. It has had strong associations with Carleton University, the short-lived National Athlete Development Centre, and has a continuing relationship with Nakkertok Ski Club. It has developed partnerships with a number of organizations and companies that share the same goals. It has become a leader in the Ottawa-Gatineau ski community, with many races organized, coaching and training camps assisted at, parkway openings, meetings and organizational jobs undertaken. And it maintains the Gatineau Park's essential reference point - the WebCam - that provides thousands of skiers a little window into the ski conditions prior to hitting the snow. Coupled with many relevant articles and daily ski condition updates, XC Ottawa has made www.xcottawa.ca one of Canada's leading cross-country ski websites, and the undisputed regional leader in ski information of all types.

XC Ottawa has also enjoyed great competitive success. It has won national championship medals, provincial championships, the Keskinada ski loppet, and has raced at World Cups, World University Games, Canada Games, and many other important national and international competitions. It has developed athletes that have moved on to pursue skiing on a full-time basis. Every year, a new crop of XC Ottawans join the wily veterans, and provide fresh energy. It's a good atmosphere; the young ones charge up the older folk, and the young ones learn the ins and outs of racing from the oldies.

We do all this with a strong focus on team and healthy lifestyles. XC Ottawa prefers to keep its athletes together throughout the year, discouraging, except in exceptional circumstances, out-of-town athletes. This allows a strong team atmosphere, and facilitates knowledge transfer within the team. It also allows XC Ottawa to focus on building the ski community in the Ottawa-Gatineau region. We are proud of our role in the ski community, and we are committed to building that role.

XC Ottawa's organizational model is co-operative. The team is athlete-driven; the group makes all the important decisions and does all the logistical work surrounding team organization, race schedule, and corporate and community partnerships. Every athlete joining XC Ottawa is expected to do a lot more than train and race. They are expected to put significant time and energy into the team and into the community partners we foster. Athletes do this in the way that best matches their particular strengths and situations, including: sharing knowledge and training tips through articles on the website, organizing races for the community, sitting on various committees at the regional level, organizing racing trips, taking care of finances, providing physiotherapy services and advice to other team members, participating in waxing clinics, posting wax and condition reports for the community, keeping the team's finances in order, and any number of other tasks. We believe this co-operative, flat organizational structure is what has helped us grow over the years.

XC Ottawa is an athlete-run team - we work like a cooperative. So it's the athletes, as a group, that control the team - we hire the coach, decide what races we want to go to, and organize all our own support, sponsorships, trips, etc. The deal with our team is that we're generally older athletes, usually seniors, and we like to do - well, what we want to do! It's nice, because we set the racing schedule etc. Most of our athletes are skiers who are also serious about school, or work, or some other important priority. Everybody puts skiing at various levels of priority - but it's pretty important for all of us. In addition to racing, we put a lot back into the community - coaching sessions, organizing a number of ski races throughout the year, working with local clubs and junior teams and helping out at training camps, etc.

XC Ottawa posts applications for the following year's team every April. The team can offer athletes a great coach, a year-round training environment with very experienced and dedicated skiers, an annualized program, etc. We have a number of long-term sponsors that provide support in a variety of ways. We offer race support at all the big races, including wax and logistics. But what we offer is not the only important question: it's also what athletes can offer XC Ottawa that we take into account. We expect athletes to put a significant amount of time back into the team - through specific tasks mentioned above, but most importantly, through being a responsible member of the ski community.

So that's who we are! Most importantly, we have tonnes of fun! Please get in touch with us - whether you're an athlete, a company, a community member, or just someone looking to get into skiing - send us a message and we'll help you out!!

XC Ottawa Members and Alumni

We're proud of everyone who has skied under our banner! Here they are:

Interested in supporting XC Ottawa or advertising on our site? Email: info@xcottawa.ca.
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