XC Bragg Creek was founded in 2009 by Roy Strum, who also started the cross country ski program at Banded Peak School and revived an event we have held in Bragg Creek annual since 2013– the Alberta Youth Cross Country Ski Championships. Our club started out its first year with approx 15 youth in the ski program and 2 coaches.
When Roy and his family moved to Canmore, Flora Giesbrecht became the head nordic ski coach while Troy Delfs became the head mountain bike coach. A very dynamic, and rapidly growing club with a small number of keen volunteers has grown into a well known club with over 200 members, many coaches and heaps of community spirit.
Currently, we provide cross country ski programs in skate & classic technique for both recreational and competitive focus, headed by Coach Flora Giesbrecht. We also provide cross country mountain biking programs for both recreational and competitive focus headed by Coach Erik Anderson and Coach Dustin Leclerc respectively.
Historically, our biggest “problem” is finding enough experienced coaches to train and teach the athletes, so for safety and value of our programs, we limit our group sizes. Alberta Parks guiding permits also restrict our current numbers, but these limitations also provide a sense of strong community club spirit that is rare in larger clubs. Unfortunately, we continue to have a waiting list every year and so far, that is the nature of XC Bragg Creek. We are constantly working to remedy that, while keeping in mind that we are volunteer run club and admin is managed by a very small workforce – we don’t want to burn anyone out!
Quite frankly, our gorgeous little club is bursting at the seams. We are very proud of our community based club and our programs. Our goal is to maintain a high quality program that keeps safety and fun in mind while creating a healthy and strong skiing community. One way we do this is by expanding the number of programs offered, providing classes on different nights and opening group bike & ski nights to those that could not get into a registered program.
So, please be patient as we have our growing pains, and keep in mind if you are not happy with something, there are a myriad of ways to help the club – not all of them require being a skier.
XC Bragg Creek Ski & Bike Society