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Ski clinic being offered in Outlook this weekend

Belief that there's untapped potential in the community area for the sport.
Nora, Elly Clara, and Todd Johnson were out grooming the trail behind the Outlook rink. Photo: Derek Ruttle/The Outlook.

OUTLOOK - Outlook is known for its history in a lot of sports, with hockey and basketball perhaps immediately coming to mind.

But one outdoor activity being offered this coming weekend might be of interest to those who want to try something different.

A clinic on cross country skiing, organized by 'Y Not Try', is being held on Monday, February 20 at the Jim Kook Rec Plex in Outlook, where everyone with an interest in the sport is being invited to come and give it a try.

Organizers provide the skiis and instruction, and part of the day's activities will include going out to enjoy groomed trails on the ball diamonds.

Kristy Johnson, a key organizer of the event, says that her family's love of the sport inspired her to pursue a local group.

"We moved to Outlook in the summer of 2021 after living in Norway for almost two decades," she said. "We found a love for the outdoors, and when we came to Outlook, we noticed that there were a few people that were cross country skiing, but was there something that could be organized for people? That's how things got started for this event."

Johnson gives ample credit to Outlook resident Ken Achtymichuk for helping to spearhead this idea, as well as providing a lot of ski equipment that will allow the clinic to be held. She says it's all about offering people a different option that will hopefully get them back outside.

"Our kids have cross country skiis, as they got into it in Norway," she said. "We did too, and there are just these beautiful trails in Outlook and we're thinking, 'Why aren't people getting outside in winter instead of just under the rink roof or the curling roof?'"

Work is being carried out right now in order to prepare the trail and get the equipment ready for use in time for the clinic, and Kristy says there's already been some interest from Outlook folks who are looking for something different to do in the wintertime.

"We're really hoping for nice ski conditions," she said. "We're trying to get the trail prepped, and that does take a bit of work with several steps, and we're also going to get the skiis waxed and conditioned so that when people come, they just get to come and say, 'I've never done this before', and we say, 'OK, great, come and give it a go!' We're trying to introduce people to the concept, and if there is interest, it's kind of like, 'OK, could we get a club going?' I've gotten some calls from people who said they've always wanted to try it, and the rec director said that that particular weekend would be a great time to hold the clinic."

As for what makes the sport of skiing so fun, just ask Kristy's 10-year old daughter Nora for a simple, direct answer.

"If you just went out for a normal walk, it's not as fun as skiing," said the young enthusiast.

Kristy says it's the group connection that brings families together in the sport, and she says that there is a big opportunity in Outlook to enjoy skiing thanks to the land that dots the surrounding area.

"There's the exploring side of it and making an outing of it," she said. "It doesn't have to be a fast-paced thing, either. You go out together and you go at your own pace. Our girls really like it. This beautiful outdoor area that we have in Outlook, with the park and everything, it's really nice and I don't think we should have to go to other places and enjoy this when we already have this kind of scenery here. It's just getting the people involved."

The ski clinic runs from 11:00 am until 3:00 pm. For those who are interested and looking for more information, you can contact Kristy at (306) 421-0237.