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Support Varsity Skiing at the University of Ottawa
By:  Team XC Ottawa   (2017/03/23)


Canada has not been successful at keeping athletes competing after high school. XC Ottawa was founded to help this situation, and more post-secondary options are needed.  For years University of Ottawa students have been rallying to have a Varsity Nordic Ski Team.  Several XC Ottawa athletes (Justin Demers, Pierre Olivier Dorego) were among some of the nordic skiers trying the convince the University of Ottawa of the value of a Nordic Ski Team.

Re-energized efforts at the University of Ottawa are underway this year, as reported in this Fulcrum article.

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Why Does UOttawa Need a Varsity Nordic Ski Team?

Attract Good Students

· The Ottawa-Gatineau area is one of the best places in Canada to ski competitively and go to school due to the high caliber education, Ottawa’s snowy winters, University proximity to four well-groomed trail networks (Gat Park, Nakkertok, Mooney’s Bay, SJAM), and high performance programs at nordic clubs.

· Almost 300 16-17-y-old Canadian competitive nordic skiers are considering post-secondary options. UOttawa could be attractive to many of these athletes, but in this region Carleton U or U Laval are most popular because of their Varsity Nordic teams. Carleton U attracts skiers from all provinces.

Low Cost, Simple to Run

· The team would be inexpensive to run (athletes have their own equipment, most training sessions take place on local trails). The club would integrate and coordinate with the region’s strong club system (7 clubs/teams with > 1500 skiers and many qualified coaches).

Exemplary Role Models and UOttawa Ambassadors

· Varsity Nordic Ski Team athletes would be exemplary role models and ambassadors for UOttawa.  Nordic ski athletes are often top notch students who are pursuing excellence in both academics and sport, and their well-rounded experience contributes significantly to the campus, classrooms, and community.  Most nordic ski athletes possess qualities that are sought after by administrators, professors, and employers.

· A Varsity Nordic Ski Team would help connect the university with the community. As nordic skiing is popular in the region, the team would have substantial local support and interest.

· Varsity Nordic athletes can inspire others to become active outdoors and embrace our winters with athletic activities that are accessible, unlike most other current UOttawa competitive clubs and varsity teams. Regular physical activity is critical for physical, mental, and cognitive health, and physical activity levels in Canadian University students are very low.

Excellence in Competition

· A UOttawa Varsity Nordic Ski team would be a podium threat at the Ontario University Athletic Championships and at the Canadian Colleges and University Nordic Championships (CCUNC). The region’s competitive club programs produce international-caliber athletes (UOttawa students and alumni includes international-level Nordic skiers and Olympians). This year 3 UOttawa students competed at Ski Nationals with impressive top 10 placings in many events.

· Nordic skiing athletes would be eligible to represent Canada at the World University Games, which would offer them international experience, enhancing UOttawa’s reputation (Carleton U and U Laval athletes regularly represent their schools at the World University Games).


Interesting Reading. . .
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