Graeme Killick holds ski camp with Ptarmigan Club

Members of the Ptarmigan Ski Club in Fort McMurray got pointers on improving their performance after spending a weekend with Canadian Olympian Graeme Killick and his brother Anthony.

Killick grew up skiing on the Birchwood trails in Fort McMurray before becoming a two-time Olympic cross-country skier.

Killick said he loves to return to Fort McMurray whenever he can.

“It’s just a way for me to help the kids there work towards whatever their goals are,” he said. “It’s a way for me to give back to those kids like so many of my coaches in the past have given back to me.”

The weekend-long ski camp, which began on June 15, was impacted by construction around the Birchwood trails system and the expansion of the Doug Barns cabin. As a result, many camp activities also took place at Gregoire Lake and Saprae Creek.

Participants of all ages were able to take park in the weekend camp, which had activities including roller skiing, ski walking, obstacle courses, relays, soccer and other games.

With his experience on the international stage and his brother’s experience as a coach with the Foothills Nordic Ski Club in Calgary, Killick said the camp provides a unique learning experience for the Fort McMurray club.

“I think it’s good especially when you can learn from other people who have been at the same level and you can see the next steps you need to take,” he said. “Just being able to share that knowledge and that style of coaching and training with kids up north it’s really important,” he said.

Being able to tailor tips and training to the needs of individual kids is important to Killick no matter what their goals are. By holding weekend camps like this one every year, he said really allows him to help a community that helped him in the beginning.

“I always love coming back to Fort McMurray,” he said. “I started skiing on the Birchwood trail systems so it’s nice to come back even just for myself to experience those trails again but also I really do enjoy spending time with the club there and helping them work towards their goals.” 


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