Overlander Ski League and Junior Development Information for Parents

The Overlander Ski League is designed for kids aged 6 to 19 with an interest in cross country skiing. The league follows Cross Country Canada’s Long Term Athlete Development model (see http://www.crosscountrybc.ca/) and strives to provide age-appropriate instruction and training for all skiers involved.  



Volunteer to Coach!

If you enjoy cross country skiing and would like to pass your enjoyment on, we are always looking for new coaches. You do not need to ski at an elite level, just need to be enthusiastic and ready to have fun while being active on skis. Coaching aslo a great way to become a better cross country skier. The OSC will pay for training and coaching development opportunities. Please contact us for more information.

Join the Fun!

Ski League in action photo gallery.
Dryland Camps - by Rich McCleary 
A taste of the joy of ski racing 


Goals for new and returning skiers

  1. Fun and friendship.
  2. Age appropriate technique improvement (classic and skating).
  3. Increased physical fitness (endurance, speed, agility, flexibility).
  4. Introduction and exposure to all aspects of the sport of cross country skiing.


DRYLAND (Sept. – Nov.)

  •   Dryland activities for Track Attack and Junior Development including roller-ski practices and weekend practices will be coordinated by individual coaches.

  •     Three are no dryland activities planned for Jack Rabbits


  • For ages 6 and up, Saturdays will be in effect when snow arrives and skiing begins.
  • For ages 6 and up, weekday on-snow practices will be determined by the coach.
  • Official sessions will continue into March.

Ski League

Our Ski League is comprised of four programs with the end goal of encouraging life-long participation in the sport:

  1. Jackrabbits
    • Ages 4 – 8.
    • Emphasis on fun and social aspects of the sport.
  2. Track Attack
    • Ages 9 – 12.
    • We encourage participation in the BC Midget Championships (Ages 9 – 12 only).
  3. Youth Recreation Program
    • Ages 12 and up.
    • Aimed for those skiers who would like to enjoy the sport without the competitive element.
    • This program is offered if there is sufficient expression of interest from club families. So please contact us if you have a junior skier that would enjoy this program.
  4. Junior Development
    • Ages 13 and up.
    • Emphasis is on technique and fitness for participation in BC Cups and other races through the winter.

Note that all ages refer to age on Dec 31st of the current ski season (i.e. age on Dec 31, 2016). 


  • Skiers aged 4 to 8 years old will follow the Jackrabbit Program as designed by Cross Country Canada. 
  • Our club will consider up to four levels depending on enrollment and coaching numbers.
  • Given our priority on fun and the social aspects, grouping skiers by age is the typical priority.

Level 1 (age 4, 5)

  • Parental support is mandatory at this age.
  • Young athletes at this level are to come with their parents prepared and dressed for the day's activity. Layers are encouraged. Simple classic skis are all that is required. Poles are not used at this level.
  • The goals of the first class are:
    1. for the skiers to meet their coaches and get familiar with the other participants.
    2. snow-permitting, as a test for the new ski gear.
    3. if there’s not enough snow for skiing, please meet at the lodge prepared for a short group hike.

Level 2

  • Required equipment includes classic skis and poles only.
  • Skiers become more independent from their parents.
  • Weeknight sessions are contingent upon coach availability.

Level 3

  • Skating is typically introduced at this level.
  • Skiers are encouraged to use waxable skis.
  • Parents are instructed in now to prepare and wax skis.

Level 4

  • Skiers are typically introduced to skate ski technique at this level.
  • Skiers are also introduced to competition in preparation for the Midget Championships or other race events if they are interested

Track Attack

  • Program intended for skiers ages 9-12 and may be split into groups:
    1. Junior Track Attack
    2. Senior Track Attack
  • On-snow practices can start in November and continue into March.
  • Participation in a regional on-snow and dryland camp is encouraged.
  • Participation in the BC Midget Championships is encouraged.
  • Athletes are encouraged to ski three times per week including Saturdays and evenings on Tuesdays and Thursdays. 
  • Most years, on snow practice for all groups will be held at Stake Lake on Saturdays at 10:30 am and will begin as soon as ski trails are set at Stake Lake.
  • Typically Saturdays will be targeted as a classic ski practice beginning with waxing. Practices will end at noon for Juniors; the Seniors will continue to 1:00 pm.  
  • In November Saturday practices may be held in locations such as Sun Peaks until the skiing is good at Stake Lake. 
  • Ski practices continue through the season into March. 

Youth Recreation Program

  • This program is an adaptation and replacement of the successful 2015-2016 Girls Gone Nordic program that is now run on a volunteer rather than professional basis.
  • Intended for youth ages 12 and up who want to cross country ski in a social and supportive setting without the competitive aspects of the sport including racing.
  • Coaches are volunteers with training with the National Coaching Certification Program.
  • Tentative start time for Saturday classes is 12:30 pm to allow the Youth Recreation Program participants to develop leadership skills by assisting with morning Jackrabbit sessions.
  • The weekday evening sessions for the Youth Recreation Program may be integrated with the other scheduled classes, depending upon numbers and coach availability.

Junior Development

  • Focus is participation at BC Cup and other local races.
  • Our more accomplished athletes travel to Western Canadian and Canadian Championships.
  • Dana Manhard is Head Coach responsible for developing athlete specific training programs.

Racing Philosophy and Opportunities

  • Racing is introduced at an early age during ski practices.
  • Racing has proven to be an important aspect in the development of a “sport for life” healthy lifestyle and a team atmosphere. 
  • Starting with Jackrabbits, skiers are encouraged to participate in local races including the Overlander Loppet and Kookabura Cup.
  • Track Attackers are also encouraged to participate in BC Midget Championships and other Okanagan Cup events.
  • For selected out-of-town races including most BC Cups and the BC Midget Championships, race entries and race support (e.g., coaching and waxing) are usually provided by the team (remember to confirm in advance with the coach prior to registration). Logistical support (transportation, accommodation, food) is the parents’ responsibility.

Registration and Cost

At least one parent and the participating child are required to be members of the Overlander Ski Club.