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Century students try Nordic skiing

Vivienne Guida, a Century School fourth-grader, is all smiles while she experiences Nordic skiing.1 / 3
Bruce Manske, from left, a representative of CXC Nordic Rocks, presents the K-8 Nordic skiing program to Century Elementary Principal Joleen De La Hunt and physical education teacher Molly Aukes, joined by Itascatur members Janine Weideman, Candy Malm and club president Sandy Perez.2 / 3
Members of Shannon Hogan’s fourth-grade class enjoy an outing with some of the 30 pairs of skis the Itascatur Outdoor Activity Club recently donated to Century School. (Submitted photos)3 / 3

A partnership with the Itascatur Outdoor Activity Club is introducing Park Rapids area elementary and middle-school students to Nordic skiing.

Century School enrolled this year in the CXC Nordic Rocks for Schools program, according to information provided by Central Cross Country Skiing. Children in kindergarten through eighth grade have an opportunity to include Nordic skiing as part of their physical education and after-school enrichment programs.

Itascatur recently donated 30 pairs of cross-country skis to Century School, as acknowledged at the Jan. 22 Park Rapids school board meeting. Central Cross Country Skiing said this represented a $1,500 investment by the outdoor club, and funding to support "outdoor silent sports" for youth and adults came from the Headwaters 100 Bike Ride in September.

The CXC Nordic Rocks program aims to lead students and teachers to experience the health and lifestyle benefits associated with outdoor winter exercise, and to build a culture of skiing in the Midwest.

More than 3,500 elementary schools in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan have enrolled during the last five years in Nordic Rocks and its sister program, Knicker Nordic Ski Bumps.

Local facilities for cross-country skiing include the Soaring Eagle Ski Trails on Highway 71 north of Park Rapids. Itascatur provides 10 km of groomed trails, a warming house, volunteers to help new skiers get started, and ski equipment for adults and children to use at no cost. For more information, visit