The Lakeland Nordic Ski Team (LNST) registration night will be held at 5:15 p.m. for elementary and middle school students and 6:30 p.m. for high school students on Tuesday, Nov. 5 at Lakeland Union High School.
LNST is a not for profit organization that has been providing the opportunity for Lakeland area youth to participate in cross country skiing throughout the winter for approximately 32 years. The purpose of the LSNT is to promote the sport of Nordic skiing for children in third through 12th grades, and to enable each team member to reach his or her own individual potential. The LNST is organized solely for educational, competitive, and recreational purposes.
The team continues to grow each year, as awareness and popularity continue to increase around physical activity, youth sports, and winter sports in particular. In the last year, alone, 89 youth participated in the LNST. The team is projected to have an even higher number of youth participants this coming winter.
The high school season begins on Nov. 6, with practices being held five weeknights and races on the weekends, January through February. The elementary and middle school skiers begin their season on Dec. 2. The home base for practice is Mincoqua Winter Park. The team will have full participation on behalf of the more than 50 high school and middle school athletes competing in races from around the Midwest Region, consisting of 12 races and thousands of spectators.
Because LNST is not a WIAA Sport in high school, but rather a club sport, the team has been fortunate to receiving funding through Lakeland Union High School to help support some of the costs of the program, but there is still a registration fee to participate at the high school level. It is specifically a club sport at the elementary and middle school level, and do not receive any funding through school.
In addition to the registration fee, costs for families include the cost of skis, poles and boots, whether rented or purchased. While this is prohibitively expensive for some families, it does not fully cover the cost of running the organization. Students and families actively participate in fundraisers throughout the year and volunteer their time in order to create a positive and fulfilling experience each season for the youth.
The program runs on a combination of volunteer parent coaches and coaches hired to fill specific positions. It takes a large group of volunteers and coaches to run the program, which is always looking for individuals to volunteer one to three nights a week, and currently have assistant coaching positions available in all levels. A high level of experience is not necessary, just the desire to come out and have some fun in the winter, and spend time on skis.
LNST believes the importance of winter sports for high school-aged youth cannot be overstated. Participation in the Lakeland Nordic Ski Team keeps youth active on a daily basis throughout the winter, teaches them the value of quiet winter sports that have a low-impact on the environment, and keeps them active during a time of year that less active youth tend to get involved in high risk behaviors.
Contact ski team manager Heather Van Hefty at [email protected]
with any questions about LNST or visit https://tshq.bluesombrero.com/lakelandnordicskiteam.
Ski and Winter Gear Swap & Sale
The annual Ski and Winter Gear Swap & Sale is from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 16 in the high school fieldhouse.
This community event will gives the opportunity to shop around for used and new downhill, Nordic and snowboard equipment and accessories. Ski shop representatives will be available to assist in answering questions and getting the gear needed for a great winter season.
For those who have items they would like to sell at the event, equipment drop off is from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday night and 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. Saturday morning, with remaining gear pick up is 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Saturday. In addition to gear, there will be waxing demonstrations, raffles and a bake sale.