When you think winter, you don’t think fitness. But it’s an awfully long season to get slack. That’s why initiatives like the one between the province and Avalon Nordic Ski Club aim to end health lulls brought on by a season known to curb exercise and recreational outdoor activities.

Cross-country skiing could be the new summer swimming here for anyone interested. We might as well make good use of the snow we’re forced to live with for 40%of the year.

Dan Crummell, Minister of Environment and Conservation, and the Avalon Nordic Ski Club have recently signed all the required paperwork to enhance the cross-country ski program at Butter Pot Provincial Park.

A cross-country ski program at Butter Pot Provincial Park has been in effect since 1973, but the Avalon Arctic Ski Club — also responsible for the Pippy Park Trails — moved to the park in 2000, to grow and better the trail system, and establish recreational training for could-be cross-country skiers.

“We are happy the Provincial Government has shown this confidence in Avalon Nordic’s ability to grow the sport of cross-country skiing on the Avalon Peninsula,” says Colin Taylor, President, Avalon Nordic Ski Club.

He adds that “The Avalon Nordic Ski Club is one of only three ski clubs across Canada to be awarded AltaGas’s support to hire a full-time head coach for three years. Butter Pot Park is the ideal location for the additional training and competition this support will allow us to offer.”

“Through partnerships such as this, The Club hopes to achieve its objectives of creating cross-country ski teams at the junior and high school level, and creating healthier citizens by encouraging winter fitness, and national recognition of our youth through competitive performance.”

Tom Hedderson, MHA for Harbour Main, adds that “The Club is to be commended for their work in delivering a superb cross-country ski program at Butter Pot Provincial Park.”

The recently signed MOU between the province and the Avalon Nordic Ski Club commits both parties to joint communication to inform and educate the public about The Club’s programs and to grow and develop the program on a joint basis.