CANMORE, Alta.—Cross Country Canada has named two of Canada’s best-ever femalecross-country skiers, Beckie Scott and Milaine Theriault as chairs of its Women’s Committee. The Committee has recently been given a fresh mandate that will improve the profile of the Committee as it facilitates opportunities for girls and women in all facets of cross-country skiing.
The Women’s Committee is an operational committee of Cross Country Canada (CCC) which exists to ensure equality of opportunity for girls and women as participants, competitors, coaches, officials and leaders in cross-country skiing in each of its five regions across the country (Atlantic; Quebec/Nunavut; Ontario; Manitoba/Saskatchewan/Alberta/ NWT; and British Columbia/Yukon).
Both Olympians, Theriault, of St. Quentin, N.B. and Scott, a two-time Olympic medalist from Vermilion, Alta., take over as co-chairs from Maureen Kershaw who has successfully chaired the Committee for several years now.
“Milaine and Beckie played a critical role in creating a competitive culture of excellence for our program in Canada during their careers which has inspired thousands of young Canadians to start cross-country skiing,” said Davin MacIntosh, executive director, Cross Country Canada. “These two Olympic heroes are role models on and off the snow to women and young girls across the country, are passionate about the sport and know what it takes to succeed.”
Theriault and Scott, along with Sara Renner, formed one of the strongest women’s cross-country ski teams in the history of the program. The Canadian women followed a steady progression throughout their career that saw them grow from participants who finished near the bottom of the results sheet at their Olympic debut in 1998 to medal winners in 2006 prior to their retirement.
“For some time I have been thinking of how to get involved and give back to the ski community in appreciation for all of the support I received as an athlete,” said Theriault. “Co-chairing an initiative that I’m very passionate about, with a great teammate and friend in Beckie is a perfect fit for me. I believe we can draw on our experiences to make a difference and I look forward to the challenge.”
The Committee’s focus is on educating women on the roles they have an opportunity to pursue in cross-country skiing and facilitating the participation of women in areas where affirmative action is required. “Creating new opportunities to get involved in cross-country skiing that will change the lives of women in every corner of this country, with the ultimate goal of developing more young girls into elite skiers” is what Scott says will drive her interest in the project.
Reporting to Cross Country Canada’s executive director, Theriault and Scott will work collaboratively with management Committee Members during their two-year term. While the program will be more formally launched in the New Year, the two Co-Chairs will concentrate their short-term efforts on filling the Committee membership which will include the following positions: an athlete representative; executive director; a member of the Board; appropriate staff persons to support activities and programs;representatives from any of the five Regions that wish to participate.
Cross Country Canada is the governing body of cross-country skiing in Canada, which is the nation’s optimal winter sport and recreational activity with more than one million Canadians participating annually. Its 55,000 members include athletes, coaches, officials and skiers of all ages and abilities, including those on Canada’s National Ski Teams and Para-Nordic Ski Teams. With the support of its valued corporate partners – Haywood Securities Inc., AltaGas, Teck Resources Ltd., Canadian Pacific, and Statoil – along with the Government of Canada, Canadian Olympic Committee, Canadian Paralympic Committee and Own the Podium, Cross Country Canada develops Olympic, Paralympic and world champions. For more information on Cross Country Canada, please visit us at www.cccski.com.
Source: Cross-Country Canada