FEBRUARY 10, 2020 — Do you have little kids who are brand new to cross country skiing? What about kids who want to become better skiers, or kids who are ready to compete on a short, 3K race through the woods?
They’ll all find something worth trying at the Ski 4 Kids event at Kincaid Park in Anchorage on Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020. Registration is now open online.
“Ski 4 Kids is open to all and is a great event for young skiers of all abilities,” said Matias Saari, Healthy Futures events coordinator. Healthy Futures supports Ski 4 Kids and other physical activity events across the state.
“In addition to skiing, kids can try out a variety of other winter activities. To ensure the event is open to as many children as possible, some kids are bused to Kincaid as part of a fun field trip.”
Kids up to age 14 can participate in the annual event that features skiing and more. Kids can try obstacle courses, a mock biathlon, snowshoeing, sit-skiing, ski jumping, orienteering and other activities. If they want to ski the 3K loop, they can complete it timed or untimed. Young children can ski an even shorter 1K loop. Parents are welcome to ski with their children. Each child who finishes the loop receives a Healthy Futures pin and customized buff.
Registering ahead of the event is required for the timed ski race and can only be completed online. Otherwise, kids can register on Feb. 29, as well as pick up their bibs between noon and 1:15 p.m. at the Kincaid Chalet. Then they can visit any of the stations to try new winter activities. The stations will be found around the ski stadium and stay open until 3:30 p.m. The timed and untimed ski races begin in the stadium at 1:30 p.m.
Ski 4 Kids is a partnership between Anchorage Parks and Recreation, the Nordic Skiing Association of Anchorage (NSAA), and Healthy Futures. There is no set participation fee, but the organizers welcome donations that help all children have access to cross country ski programs and equipment. Proceeds go toward the NSAA grant program that provides ski equipment to schools and youth groups. Funds also cover transportation costs so more than 200 kids from 11 different schools are able to participate in the event.
Children who are also participating in the Healthy Futures Challenge can count the ski race and other wintertime activities toward their 60 minutes of daily activity on their Challenge log. Go online to see the list of more than 130 elementary schools across Alaska that are completing the Challenge this winter and spring.
Photographs courtesy of Jen Aist