Youth Programs: Kanata Nordic Racers

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2024-25 Season Information

Kanata Nordic Racing FAQ

Kanata Racers is a program for motivated athletes who wish to build ski technique and participate in competition in a fun and supportive team environment.  The program provides an opportunity to refine both classic and skate ski skills, for youth with varying levels of experience, however, some ski skills are a prerequisite.

Program Philosophy

  1. Skills​: Our goal is to enable young athletes to develop their cross-country skiing skills in a positive team environment. The focus is on ski racing, athletes are given tools to grow as athletes and individuals.
  2. Fun:​ ​To grow in the sport an athlete needs to have fun and enjoy training, appreciate being outside and, above all, love skiing. The program includes a wide variety of activities throughout the year to keep the interest level high.
  3. Individual​ ​Development​: Coaching at Kanata is a team approach. All athletes will be coached by different individuals throughout the year. This approach exposes the athlete to varied coaching styles and to different specialized skills. The coaches believe in the equal treatment of all athletes and yet will respond to the time and effort contributed by the athlete. The coaches work towards helping the athlete achieve their own potential and their own goals at whatever level they may be.
  4. Participation​: We encourage year-round activity, a healthy lifestyle and a variety of outdoor activities. Year round training is necessary to be successful as an athlete and particularly as a skier. We do expect skiers to be prepared to attend at minimum 2/3 of all scheduled practices during the whole season.
  5. Team​: Each athlete is encouraged, with coach support, to set their own individual goals and the coaches aspire to deliver a program to guide the athletes achieve their personal best. By participating in the Racing Program each athlete supports the goals of the team and assists their peers to do the same.

Program Head Coach – Mike Vieira

Mike has worked with nordic athletes and trained coaches at all levels of development for almost 20 years. Mike was a coach for a national team development centre and coached athletes to multiple National Championships, World Jr., and U23 World Championships. Mike also led a ski club to three straight national club championships.  Mike is a Master Coach Developer and has trained almost one hundred coaches at various stages of the LTAD. In addition to his role as head coach and program planner with Kanata Nordic, Mike holds an MBA, has worked with the Canadian Paralympic Committee helping develop their high performance plans around the World Championships and Paralympics, and is currently the interim executive director of the Ottawa Gymnastics Centre.

U16/U18 Program ​(YOB 2007-2010) 

Skill Requirements: Participants need to have intermediate classic and skate skiing abilities. It is highly recommended that athletes have progressed through the Racing Rabbit program or its general Learn-to-Train equivalent. Athletes should be comfortable on roller skis.

Equipment Requirements:

  • – Separate skate and classic skis; as well as ‘rock’ skis for shoulder season
  • – Classic AND Skate roller skis* and boots, poles with roller ski ferrules (tips)
  • – hill-bounding poles (poles about 5-10 cm shorter than ideal classic ski length poles)
  • – digital watch
  • – water bottle with holder or hydration pack
  • – headlamp
  • – basic waxing equipment.
  • – Athletes must also have a racing licence for competing in Ontario Cup (O-Cup) races, and the Canadian Nationals. Details on race licences can be found and purchased here.
  • – Anyone aged 13 or above requires a Gatineau Park pass – details can be found here and a club discount will be arranged
  • – Club clothing will be offered for personal purchase
  • – Road bikes may be required for dryland training

Coaching: All athletes will be coached by a mix of volunteer and professional staff. U16/U18 athletes will be coached primarily by our head coach Mike Vieira with support from volunteer coaches.


  • Fall/Winter Training September through March: $1000 
  • Year-round 2X per week: $1,500
  • Enhanced year-round program  (3X per week)  $1,650 – contact to discuss suitability

Programs for U12 (YOB 2013-2014) & U14 (YOB 2011-2012)

Skill Requirements: Athletes should have at least basic cross country ski skills, general sport skills, and some endurance background. Athletes will be placed in skill-appropriate groups that will be fluid throughout the season based on development.

Equipment Requirements:

  • Separate skate and classic skis; as well as ‘rock’ skis for shoulder season
  • Ski boots with a supportive cuff for rollerskiing* – skate boots (not combi for those new to rollerskiing)
  • Poles with rollerski ferrules (tips)
  • hill-bounding poles (about 5-10 cm shorter than ideal classic ski length)
  • water bottle with holder or hydration pack
  • headlamp
  • basic waxing equipment
  • Club clothing will be offered for personal purchase.

* Kanata Nordic maintains a small library of roller skis, suitable with NNN skate boots. For the first year of roller skiing (2012 athletes or older athletes who are trying it for the first time), athletes may rent from the fleet at training. Beyond that, athletes are expected to purchase roller skis.

Coaching: All athletes will be coached by a mix of volunteer and professional staff. U12/U14 athletes will be coached primarily by our experienced paid and certified volunteer coaches, with training plans and support from our head coach Mike Vieira.


U12 Racers:  Fall/Winter only: $600  (Sept – March)

U14 Racer Programs

  • Fall/Winter training September-March: $700
  • Year Round Training: $1,100 (2X week in summer)

* 2013 athletes interested, contact to discuss


Parental Contribution to the Kanata Nordic Racing Program: Cross country racing is volunteer-driven. All non-coaching parents are expected to contribute significantly to the organization of the team:

  • safety “sweeping” during runs, hikes, ski and roller ski outings
  • race organization
  • travel to races
  • social events
  • scheduling/administration and communications
  • assist with waxing skis at races, under the guidance of experienced waxers

We provide guidance on the tasks and no experience is necessary – you don’t even need to be a skier! We will also routinely request Kanata Nordic volunteers for regional events such as our own club race as well as bigger profile race events like the Candy Cane and Easterns, or Ski Nationals.

Athlete Volunteer Contribution to the Club: Athletes are required to contribute to the wellbeing and maintenance of the club. Duties include:

  • participating in club events such as ski swap, trail clearing and facility clean-up days
  • participating in the Kanata Nordic events and races
  • participating in fundraising activities
  • helping out with food prep and clean-up when traveling to races
  • acting as responsible club-representatives on and off trails.
  • We also encourage our U14/U16/U18 athletes to assist when possible with the Bunny and Jackrabbit programs at Kanata Nordic.

Program Details

Fall Training:  The fall program will include a mix of team-building, endurance, strength and technique training. Roller ski skills for older athletes will be included 1-2 times per week, weather permitting. Fundamental movement skills will be emphasized for all athletes with a mix of general sport skill training, as well as physical conditioning at all practices.

Times: Three sessions per week:

U12-U14’s   Tuesday & Thursday 6:30-8:00 pm   Saturday 9:00 am – 11:00 am

        U16+     Tuesday & Thursday 6:30-8:00 pm   Saturday 9:00am – 12:00 pm

Locations: Tuesday and Thursday sessions will take place in parks/community trail areas in the greater Kanata area. Saturday practices will occur primarily in Gatineau Park

Saturdays Early on Snow Training: Kanata Nordic will be taking advantage of the early on-snow training venue available at Nakkertok’s Nakkertrak.

Nakkertok South provides machine-made snow starting in November. With the variable nature of winters in Ottawa we will take advantage to get on snow when we can. We will ski on the early loop for a few weeks until natural snow is available. 

Fees:Cost is approximately $15 -20 per skier per session to use the Nakkertrak 

Schedule: Practice times will vary due to training time availability (all local clubs train on this loop leading to sparse availability). Rock skis will be needed for early snow conditions

Snow Season: Practices will continue following our Tues-Thurs-Saturday training times when snow becomes available. Sessions will be divided between classic and skate ski technique, often dictated by trail conditions. Participants will be advised which technique/equipment will be needed at least  24-48 hours prior to each session. Wax advice will also be provided for classic sessions.

Locations: Most weekday on-snow sessions will take place at the Kanata Nordic Ski Club, located at Wesley Clover Parks on Corkstown Road. Saturday sessions take place in Gatineau Park. On some race weekends OYO (on your own) training plans will be provided to athletes not attending the races.


U12/U14: Training is focused on preparation for local  (National Capital District – NCD) races such as the Coupe Skinouk, Chelsea Sprints, Kanata Nordic’s Corkstown Classic (our host race event!) and Nakkertok’s Cookie Race.  There is one “away” race trip; the Ontario Youth Championships. We encourage racers to attend 4-6 races during the season and highly encourage all U12/U14 athletes to plan to attend the Ontario Youth Championships as their capstone event of the season. The Ontario Youth Championships are family travel and the races are fully coach supported. Example season racing schedule below (note 2024-25 local race dates have not been confirmed by the NCD).

Events below are provisional-only ; adjustments may be made based on amount of snow present

Date Race Location
TBD Silver Spoon Deep River
TBD Chelsea Sprints Chelsea, QC
TBD Coupe Skinouk Relais Plein Air, QC
TBD Corkstown Classic Kanata Nordic
TBD Nakkertok Cookie Race Nakkertok Nordic , QC
TBD Ontario Youth Championships Sault St. Marie, ON
TBD Theas Race Nakkertok North, QC

U16/U18: The focus of this group is to increase competition development as athletes focus on attending Ontario and Quebec Cup races, Eastern Canadian Championships, and the Canadian National Championship Race events. Travel races will be fully coach supported. These races will be augmented with local races such as Boxing Day Burnoff and the Coupe Skinouk. An updated competition schedule will show below once dates are confirmed, but can also be found at

Race Wax Support:
Some wax support is provided at local (NCD) races, full waxing support will be provided at away races and Nationals.  Wax fees will be requested, expect at least $25 per athlete per race.

*An intro to wax clinic, and a suggested supply list, will be provided to all families/athletes in the fall.

Athletes are encouraged to participate in other sports, such as cross country running, football, swimming etc. We expect skiers to be prepared to attend at minimum 2/3 of all scheduled practices during the season.

Cross country training is done in virtually all conditions – rain or shine, hot or cold, except in extreme cases where it is deemed unsafe by club standards (such as driving anywhere in an ice storm). Athletes need appropriate outdoor clothing for all conditions. At times during the winter deteriorating ski conditions due to thaws or freezing rain may lead to Kanata Nordic holding running practices.

Team Communication

All official team communication will occur through TeamSnap. Athletes and parents will be added to the free TeamSnap platform upon program registration, and are expected to maintain their profile and monitor the app for schedule and other information.

A rebate of 10% of the lowest registration fee will be provided to families with three or more athletes in the Kanata Nordic racing program at the end of the season. 

Wondering whether the Kanata Nordic Racer program is right for your teen or pre-teen skier? For answers to this and related questions please contact our Racing Coordinator (


Refund / Cancellation Policy: Memberships fees are non-refundable. If you wish to withdraw from a program, we will refund the pro-rated program fee less 20% retained to cover the club’s associated administration costs. To obtain a refund please contact by December 31, 2024. Please note that Kanata Nordic reserves the right to cancel any programs with insufficient registration or without volunteer leaders. In this case every effort will be made to find an equivalent program or a refund will be offered.

Kanata Nordic programs are subject to the will of Mother Nature. We generally follow Cross Country Canada’s guidelines in terms of program cancellation. This means programs will be cancelled if conditions are unsafe  or temperatures are below acceptable limits. We attempt to reschedule cancelled events but this is at the discretion of group leaders. The Club will attempt to give its members as much notice as possible for program changes caused by weather we thank you for your understanding.