Friday, 11 October 2013

Built for Speed - a new event series aimed at 10-14 year olds in Southern Alberta

Good stuff is cooking in Southern Alberta

Greetings members of the cross country ski community.  This is the coaching blog of Roy Strum.  A cross country ski coach interested in supporting developing coaches in advancing the level of cross country skiing in Alberta and beyond.  This is not the website for the Built for Speed (Southern Alberta) Event Series.  If you are looking for the Built for Speed website - please visit -   There you will find information about dates and locations of various B4S events in the greater Calgary area.

What follows is a blog post that I wrote in October 2013 that includes some of my reflections about the process that was undertaken to create a new event series that aims to change how children experience a ski competition. 

hey folks

what began as a conversation about broadening the reach of our local race series for children, has resulted in the creation of a new event series.  

Built for Speed is aptly named to reflect the developmental window of trainability for children age 10-13.  The 'event' series aims to be a first step for club athletes to participate in a multi-club event.  The idea for Built for Speed comes from the intent to broaden participation in regional development events to more clubs; to support smaller clubs in developing the capacity and interest in racing; to focus on a bigger geographic area than the bow corridor.

There are lots of clubs that focus on children's ski programs in southern Alberta that we hope to attract with this series:  Medicine Hat/Cypress Hills CCSC, Brooks CCSC, Crystal Ridge NSC (Okotoks), Crowsnest Pass CCSC, XC Bragg Creek, Foothills Nordic, Calgary Nordic Training Group, Calgary Ski Club, Rocky Mtn Jackrabbits, Red Deer Nordic, Bow Waters Jackrabbits, Canmore Nordic Ski Club.

Built for Speed events are unique in a number of ways:

- each BFS event will include more than one 'race' - to encourage families and kids to travel more than an hour in some cases, more than one event will be held consecutively on a day.  e.g. the day might start with a indiv start race, followed by a downhill race or relay.  Each club will decide what two races they would like to organize.  This idea has been tested at CCC Racing Rocks events where up to 3 or 4 races are organized over a single day.

- There will be two formats for the event series:
    -  Open events - these competitions are intended for all skiers from all clubs
    -  Development events - these competitions are intended for novice skiers from     all clubs - entry in development events will be at the discretion of club coaches.  These events are intended to provide a positive experience for kids new to racing in an environment where most of the kids are at about the same level of ability.  This idea is similar to the tiering of competition groupings in organized hockey in big centres.

- BFS event series will include 4 events - in the first year, one in each of Calgary, Canmore, Bragg Creek, and Okotoks.  Foothills Nordic will host an 'open' event, Canmore Nordic will host an 'open' event, XC Bragg Creek will host a 'development' event, and Crystal Ridge Nordic will host a 'development' event.

- BFS events will focus on the four year age group - minimidget (2002, 2003) and midget (2000-01).  Competitions may be organized as single year competition groupings.  Host clubs can choose to add to the age groupings to suit their needs.

- Registration for events will be organized individually by clubs.  Profits (if any) will reside with the host club to help them build their program.

- BFS awards will include club banners for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th place clubs based on points accumulated through the series,

Look for more information/details soon about this exciting new event series including event dates and locations and registration information.

Welcome to all of the clubs in southern Alberta to this new event series.  We hope that it is the start of extended growth and development of clubs in the southern half of the province.  We know there are many small, developing clubs in southern Alberta.  This event series is aimed at all of our clubs in the south.  We hope to see you at these events.

CNSC Coach
Built for Speed EVent Series Advocate

1 comment:

  1. Hey Roy, did you guys ever discuss skill based categories? Seems to be working pretty well in Biathlon Alberta