Introducing the New Nome-Beltz School Varsity Ski Team – KNOM Radio Mission

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Nome-Beltz Middle High School added a new varsity-level sport to his list. Prior to the 2022 spring semester, cross-country skiing existed in Nome-Beltz only as a club sport. Now it’s a school-sponsored and funded sport: the Nome-Beltz ski/biathlon team.

“Nome has been participating in WISA for many years, which is the Western Interior Ski Association championships. Nome has always competed as Nome Nordic, and so now we just compete as a school sport like the other inland schools do, and like the Bering Strait does as well,” said coach Rosa Wright. .

Wright and the other Nome-Beltz ski coaches had to seek approval from the administration and the school board. After approval, the school agreed to fund the coaches’ salaries and equipment. With new funding from the school, the team was able to get additional gear and uniforms featuring the team’s new Nome-Beltz logo, Wright said.

While the ski season was underway, the team trained 3 times a week on new runs around the high school.

“But, the kids actually got involved in helping clear the trails, clearing the brush, all that kind of stuff as a kind of community service. They have worked to create these trails to provide them to community members as well,” Wright said.

Nome-Beltz middle and high school students practiced with the Anvil City Academy of Sciences. Practices started slow but became more focused on training as the season progressed. They described this season as their “maiden voyage”. Wright explained that the coaching staff was always figuring out what type of training worked best for the team.

Practices were open to all and the number of skiers could range from six to 15. From toddlers to high schoolers, kids showed up with skill and interest levels ranging from experienced competitors to kids just wanting to have fun. .

“We have a few kids on the team this year who had never seen snow before moving here, so they were skiing for the first time. And then we had kids who had skied before, maybe in other villages or also skied through Nome Nordic. We’ve had kids who skied with us for two days and then decided skiing wasn’t for them, and we’ve had kids who held on all season,” Wright said.

Wright added that the team’s first meeting helped spark some competitiveness in the kids who had just joined at the start for fun.

As for the coaches, their main desire is to get kids out and about in a “humane way,” showing them they can tackle and enjoy the Alaskan winter outdoors without the aid of snowmobiles or the like, Wright said. .

During their season, the team attended two competitions: the Western Interior Ski Association championship in Unalakleet and an invitational, with teams from Brevig Mission and Teller, right here in Nome.

We just had a ski race on Friday, then we paired our kids up with the Brevig and Teller kids and had them do a relay race on the second day,” Wright said.

The kids performed well in both competitions, but what makes Wright most proud of her team is the sense of sportsmanship they displayed throughout the season.

“So one of the things we’ve really focused on this year is really having that sportsmanship and just being good people. We celebrate when we fall because it means we learn. And every time we run, the kids are cheering on everyone, it’s not just our team. They really showed a level of maturity and respect for the other people they raced with. Winning is great, but those kids really did more than just win and it was to conduct themselves with such grace and sportsmanship,” Wright said.

The Nome Beltz Ski/Biathlon Team wrapped up its inaugural season last weekend with the Home Invitational. The team’s goals for next year include fundraising and additional travel, Wright said.

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