2011 Lake Superior Ski District Dryland Training Camp Exciting

Andy Shields
Andy Shields skiing to a win last winter

THUNDER BAY – Over 70 athletes from across Ontario have been participating in the annual Lake Superior Ski District (LSSD) Cross Country Ski Dryland training Camp over the past 4 days. In its 8th year running, this camp, hosted by the local Big Thunder Nordic Ski Club, has hit the largest amount of participants to date with over half of the athletes from out of town, including one participant from Labrador City, Newfoundland. Athletes have been participating in a variety of activities including rollerskiing at Kamview Nordic Centre, running at Centennial Park and Boulevard Lake, and will finish off the camp with a run to the top of the Sleeping Giant.

A highlight of this year’s camp is 2010 Olympian, Stefan Kuhn. Kuhn, fresh out of retirement and working as a coach with the Alberta World Cup Academy, has come to this camp to teach and mentor these aspiring athletes and to pass on his knowledge of what it takes to achieve excellence in sport. He hopes to motivate and inspire the next generation of Olympic athletes. He is a great role model to the sporting youth and is honoured to pass on his expertise. Kuhn stated, “To see these many enthusiastic athletes will only make our program stronger and stronger. It is a privilege to have been asked to come to this camp and to pass on what I have learned in my own racing career. Teaching the younger generation not only to be great athletes but to be the best they can be in everyday life is very rewarding.”

Local National Development Centre athletes have also been acting as mentors and leaders for the up and coming skiers. Head Coach, Eric Bailey was very impressed by the athletes and is very excited to see what the future holds. Bailey commented, “Outreach programs such as these are pivotal in the success of skiers. To have such a large number of athletes engaged in such a positive atmosphere with Olympic and National Team athletes will only bring the level of skiing up in Canada. I’m very intrigued to see what the future holds.”

This camp has showcased the best of what Thunder Bay has to offer in hopes of attracting athletes to achieving their best not only in sport but also in everyday life.