Vermont girls have a special opportunity this weekend to meet, play and dance with world-class athletes. On Saturday, March 19, 20 members of the U.S. Nordic Ski Team host a “Champ Chat” at Craftsbury Outdoor Center
in Craftsbury Common. The event is part of Fast and Female
, a program started by Chandra Crawford, a cross-country skiing Olympic gold medalist from Canada, to encourage young girls to be physically active and engaged in sports.
Girls ages 8-18 will ski on a Nordic obstacle course, participate in relay races and play games on the snow. Craftsbury Outdoor Center has maintained a 4-kilometer trail full of snow for the event. Participants will be divided into teams based on age, and a champion athlete will lead each team through activities designed to foster camaraderie, cooperation and fun. Parents will also learn about resources and get tips for raising fit, active girls.
The roster of athlete volunteers includes Vermonters and Sochi Olympians Ida Sargent, Liz Stephen and Sophie Caldwell, along with fellow U.S. Ski Team members Sadie Bjornsen, Caitlin Gregg and Rosie Brennan, and members of the Canadian, Finnish and Italian ski teams. A Zumba dance session, led by 2016 top-10 World Cup cross-country skier Jessie Diggins, will cap off the day.
The event’s purpose is to empower girls and encourage them to stay active as they grow older. Statistics show that girls drop out of sports at six times the rate of boys in their early teens.
“If we can keep them active and help them find a sport they are interested in, that’s a success for us,” said Ida Sargent. “I learned so much from my sport that I hope to share with the other girls and help them in finding their own path.”
The event fee is $25 for girls and $15 for parent seminars. Advanced skiing skills are not required, and you don’t need to bring equipment — free rental skis are available. Wear layers that you can take off when you start to sweat. Get more information and preregister by Friday, March 18 here
. Registration the day of the event is $30.