Because nordic skiing is a club sport (not WIAA) membership is not limited to Ashwaubenon athletes but open to any area athletes who would like to ski with the team. Athletes can join the team at any time by contacting one of the coaches but most commonly do so at the fall organizational meeting which takes place in late October at Ashwaubenon High School. This is the time get practice and race information and to pay membership dues.
Since the team is not WIAA sanctioned, we receive no funding from the Ashwaubenon School District. This means that fundraising is part of the parents’ supportive role. We host a major bike race in August and a trail race/duathlon in October which function as our primary fundraiser events. Help with concessions, registration, parking, awards, trail prep and water stops are essential to make these events go. Another way parents help is by transporting skiers to races. Generally we carpool, but there is travel involved in both racing and practicing.
Dues for the season are $225 for high school athletes and $150 for middle school. The dues cover the cost of race entry fees for team races, wax, uniforms, and team loaner equipment. Athletes need not purchase their own equipment to ski with the team. Team equipment is available once dues have been paid. Fundraising is the method we prefer to keep dues low. Compared to other club sports (eg. hockey or lacrosse) and other nordic ski programs, our dues are considered quite low.
Racing, which is an optional but exciting part of team participation, occurs primarily on weekends. Teams from Madison, Waukesha, Rhinelander, Minocqua, Hayward and Wausau provide a good opportunity for young skiers to test themselves against their peers in both Classic and Skate techniques. Middle schoolers compete at 3.5K and the high school team up to 7K distances, boys and girls racing separately. Dues cover league race entries. Racing culminates in the Wisconsin High School Championships when over 400 racers from all over the state compete for two days in early February. If the skier is advanced enought, there are also opportunities to race in the Junior National Qualifier (JNQ) series and potentially compete at nationals. The team’s success has made them a recognizable force in the Wisconsin and Midwest ski world.
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