The International Peace Garden, south of Boissevain, hosted the 2017 Manitoba Cross Country Ski Championship on February 11th and 12th.

80 competitors from as far away as Kenora, Ontario travelled to the Peace Garden for the races.

“It has been phenomenal. I mean the venue is outstanding and we couldn't have asked for any better weather” said Karin McSherry executive director with the Cross Country Ski Association of Manitoba.

She added the course was excellent and so were the conditions.

This was the first time the provincial cross country ski championship took place at the Peace Garden and from all accounts, it was a highly successful event.

“I've been skiing for about seven years and this is about my fifth time at provincials and this is a really nice place for skiing” said 14 year old Aaron Warkentine of Winkler.

Warkentine is a member of the Boundary Trails Ski Club and he like the other competitors participated in two races on the weekend. 'I love to compete and I'm not a very big guy so Ii like the endurance part of skiing.”

A member of the Kenora Nordic and Biathlon Club was in a category all by himself. Jesse Bachinksy is visually impaired and he started skiing four years ago. “How I got into it was my mom had a friend and she asked if I'd like to try it and I liked it and now I have competed in the Manitoba games and the Canada Games.”

Bachinsky is blind in his left eye and has a little bit of vision in his right eye. “I basically have to feel the track and what gives me the most difficulty are the corners.”

Local organizers decided to host the 2017 championship in hopes of generating more interest in the sport in the Westman region.

“We love what happened here on the weekend and I'm sure skiers will be back for other provincials in the future,” said Karin McSherry.

 

 

 

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