Foothills Nordic Ski Club President, Kevin McLean, was recognized as Volunteer of the Year by Cross Country Canada, at the national sport organization’s recent AGM and Award Banquet, held in Canmore, AB from June 8 through 10. The award recognizes significant achievement in the regional or national development of cross-country skiing and was awarded to McLean for his significant work in implementing expanded cross-country ski capacity at The City of Calgary’s Confederation Park Golf Course.
After WinSport Canada’s May 2016 announcement that the cross-country trail network would be replaced with a tube park, Calgary-based Nordic clubs were left scrambling to find a location for 2016-17 programs.
As a long-time provider of volunteer grooming at the local golf course, McLean led the charge in successfully negotiating an operating agreement with the City of Calgary and supported grant applications and fundraising of over $87,000; monies that enabled capital equipment acquisition and operating cost coverage. For its pilot surface-based snow-making year, the golf course saw visits of close to 15,000 and involved close to 2,000 volunteer hours to execute.
McLean’s additional volunteer contributions on-the-ground with facility operations and grooming, and as a liaison with City representatives were instrumental to the Ski Confederation Park Golf Course project’s success. The project enabled Calgarians to enjoy continuous cross-country ski days within the city and secured a facility for local clubs to deliver recreational and racing programs to youth and adults of all abilities.
“It is so rewarding to see Kevin’s huge contribution acknowledged by our national sporting body. This project is about access and getting communities and citizens active. Without a Calgary facility that can provide consistent, reliable snow, local sustainability of cross-country skiing is at risk….and that would be very unfortunate” says Foothills coach and volunteer, Michelle Deacon.
Each year, Cross Country Canada recognizes significant contributions and achievements of individuals within the cross-country ski community. This year’s Volunteer of the Year Award went to both Kevin McLean, President of Foothills Nordic Ski Club and Ken Lindfors of Ottawa-area, Nakkertok Nordic.