One of the largest cross country skiing events ever to hit Western Canada is coming to West Kelowna.
From Feb. 4 to 6, the Telemark Cross Country Ski Club will serve as the host site for the combined 2011 Haywood Western Canadian Championships, NorAm, and B.C. Cup # 2.
More than 500 athletes and coaches from across Canada, the United States and other countries, such as Australia, will take part in the three competitions.
Four members of Canada’s national nordic team are confirmed for the event, including 2010 Olympian George Grey from Rossland.
Members of the Canadian and American teams will go head to head as they prepare for the upcoming FIS Nordic World Championships Feb. 23 to March 6 in Norway.
“It’s going to be extremely competitive between the Canadians and Americans, people will be able to watch them right up close in the stadium,” said event chair Scott Davis. “It will be especially good for spectators on Friday when the sprints are held. It will be very spectator-friendly.”
Several members of the host Telemark club will be competing as they train in preparation for the national nordic finals March 11 to 19 in Canmore, Alta.
The event will also feature as many as 300 youth competitors, some as young as the age of four.
“It goes right from being a fun event for the youngest kids, all the way up to the open division where competition will be intense,” Davis added
Davis said the event is need of a few more volunteers. Those interested in helping out can find more information on skiwesterns.com.
He added there are also sponsorship opportunities for local businesses as the three-day event will gain national coverage.
Davis also urges any spectators who plan on coming to the event to carpool as parking will be at a premium with more than 500 athletes and coaches attending the championships.