Overlander Ski League and Junior Development Information for Parents – 2019/20

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.  

Coaches Connection

Keep up-to-date with the latest info from the clubs coaches by checking out these great articles: 

Ski League in action photo gallery.

Consider Coaching? - by Rich McCleary

Dryland Camps - by Rich McCleary 


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 each Tuesday and Thursday from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm.
  • 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) which this season scheduled for Feb 25-26, at Telemark Ski Club, Kelowna.
  3. Youth Recreation Program
    • Ages 12 and up.
    • Aimed for those skiers who would like to enjoy the sport without the competitive element.
  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.
  • Official startup is Saturday, Dec. 17, 2016 at Stake Lake at 10:30am.

Level 1 (age 4, 5)

  • Parental support is required at this age.
  • 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.
  • Saturday practices will continue after the Christmas holiday with details provided by the coach.

Level 2

  • 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 introduced to competition in preparation for the Midget Championships.

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 camp at Silver Star hosted by Telemark Nordic Ski Club 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. 
  • 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.


At least one parent and the participating child are required to be members of the Overlander Ski Club.  Membership costs and program costs are detailed in Zone 4.