CBT funds improve Black Jack trails

By Contributor
November 15th, 2009

Columbia Basin Trust (CBT) is contributing $75,000 to Rossland’s Black Jack Cross Country Ski Club Society (the Club) in support of their efforts to host national and international Nordic competitions.

“This project is a step forward in helping Rossland achieve their aspirations of becoming a four-season destination, and it will improve the opportunities for athletes and spectators to see and participate in world-class competitions in their hometown,” said Wayne Lundeberg, CBT Community Liaison.

“CBT is pleased to be involved in this project, as it is supported by the community’s own strategic plans, residents and club members, and by both Cross Country Canada and Cross Country BC.”

The Club has been improving the facility for a number of years and has hosted many smaller events. The recent improvements were based on recommendations from Cross Country Canada (the governing body of cross
country skiing in Canada) and Cross Country BC, who both said that with the improvements the Club would be able to host events such as the Canadian Championships, NorAms, the Western Canadian Championships, and potentially, selected World Cup events.   

“Cross Country Canada has previously awarded us smaller events based on
excellent terrain, dependable snow and weather conditions, and competent, enthusiastic volunteers. But they’ve also made some specific recommendations in order for us to host bigger events. With the recent improvements, our ski stadium and sprint trails now meet international standards,” said Wannes Luppens, President of the Club.  

Luppens added that an event like the Canadian Championships typically draws 600-700 athletes, plus family and support staff for about 10 days; “that would be a big impact to the local economy.”

“Rossland is in the process of diversifying its economy, and we feel this project fits into those plans,” said Luppens. “These events will bring competitors and tourists to Rossland and will create a greater awareness of the facilities and amenities we have to offer. Recreational skiers will also enjoy the improved trails.”

George Grey, Black Jack member and 2006 and 2010 Olympian also gives his
support to the project.

“This is the most significant upgrade that I have seen at the trail system in my 27 years in Rossland,” commented Grey. “The upgrades will increase the Club’s ability to host major competitions and make Black Jack a serious contender for National Team and club level training camps. The widened trail system will appeal to all levels of skier, allowing grooming to start earlier and trails to stay in better condition through wind storms and snow lulls. I am looking forward to
using the upgrades and hope that more Rosslanders come out for a ski -they will love it!”

The project’s $207,330 improvements are expected to be completed this year with skiing enthusiasts invited to test out the improved trails and facilities this upcoming ski season. Since 2003, CBT has provided $139,294 to the Club through CBT’s Community Development and Community Initiatives Programs.

The Black Jack Cross Country Ski Club is a volunteer non-profit society whose mission is to build a community of Nordic skiers by providing and sustaining excellence in programs and services. The society has been in Rossland since 1983 and has approximately 600 members.

CBT delivers economic, social, and environmental benefits to the residents of the Columbia Basin. To learn more about CBT programs and initiatives, visit
www.cbt.org <http://www.cbt.org/> or call 1-800-505-8998.

Categories: Sports

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