As coaches who are involved in cross-country ski racing programs for Juniors in your area, we at Soo Finnish Nordic Ski Club would like to extend an invitation to you and your athletes to take part in the 52nd Annual Hiawatha Invitational, which our club is hosting on January 26 and 27, 2008.
This year the Hiawatha Invitational has been selected by NOD race division as the qualifying event for the Ontario Winter Games. Therefore, we anticipate that it will attract a large contingent of Junior-age ski racers from throughout Ontario’s NOD division, which encompasses Nordic ski clubs from locations such as Sudbury, North Bay, Timmins and Sault Ste. Marie.
With so many Junior-aged skiers from Ontario converging on Hiawatha Highlands, less than 10 miles of the U.S. / Canada border, we have a unique opportunity to make this a truly international event. To that end, we are encouraging as many high school x-c teams from throughout the American mid-west to attend this truly unique event. The opportunity to gain international experience is extremely rare and valuable for Junior age ski racers, and we are well aware of the important role an event such as this will fill for young ski racers.
While the exact race schedule has not been finalized at this point in time, we do know that the format will be a timed interval start. Classic races will be held on Saturday, January 26, and freestyle races will be held the following day. Race divisions will range include all Seniors and Master’s divisions on down to youth divisions – the latter of which under Cross-country Ontario regulations is broken down into 2-year age groups: Juniors (ages 16-17), Juveniles (ages 14-15), Midgets (ages 12-13), etc. Advance on-line registration will be available through www.zone4.ca.
The latest word from U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security is that passports will not be required at land border crossings until the summer of 2008, and so passports will not be necessary for U.S. participants at this year’s Hiawatha Invitational (beyond the summer of 2008, it is my understanding that youth sports teams will be exempt from this requirement, so this may not present a long-term problem either, but we’ll all need to see how this turns out).
Nevertheless, brining I.D. such as a birth certificates or a photo I.D., where available, is always a good idea. Please see http://www.cnn.com/2007/TRAVEL/06/20/passport.rules/index.html for details.
As always, Hiawatha Highlands will be the venue for the Hiawatha Invitational. Directions may be found at http://hiawathahighlands.com/content.php?ID=2.
Please stay tuned to Soo Finnish Nordic’s web site at http://soofinnishnordic.com for up-coming details on this event, or feel fee to contact me in person if you have any questions. If you plan on attending, it would be great if you could let me know.
Vice President, Programs
Soo Finnish Nordic Ski Club