Nordic Rocks – The Original Idea

Getting Kids Outside

The original idea for the CXC Nordic Rocks for Schools program, was developed by the late John Hugus, an avid cross country skier and the founder of the Knicker Nordic Ski Club in Wausau, Wisconsin.

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His goal was to introduce a new generation of children, Kindergarten through 6th grade, to the excitement found in the sport of cross country skiing.

By providing elementary and middle school students an opportunity to experience Nordic skiing during the school day, with their teachers and classmates, they will quickly learn health and lifestyle benefits associated with exercise and outdoor winter fun.

– John Hugus

The CXC Nordic Rocks for Schools program is a three-way partnership between selected schools, community organizations, and Central Cross Country Skiing (CXC).

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The partnership creates an opportunity to teach skiing during the school day: physical education class, recess, and after-school programs.

Students are able to ski right behind their school on any surface covered with a minimum of two inches of snow. 

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During the inaugural season (2013-2014), the National Winter Sports Education Foundation awarded CXC a grant to initiate the CXC Nordic Rocks for Schools program in 15 schools throughout Wisconsin and Minnesota. During the second season of programming, the National Winter Sports Education Foundation awarded another grant to further expand the CXC Nordic Rocks for Schools program throughout the Midwest.

Other organizations have pledged their support for future expansions of the CXC Nordic Rocks for Schools program, including the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation, Sawyer County Outdoor Programs and Education, Madison Area Sports Commission, and the Aspirus Health Foundation, along with many community ski clubs and school programs.


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Now, in its fourth seasons, the CXC Nordic Rocks for Schools program has made an impact on thousands of new skiers, and has enrolled over 125 schools across the country from California to Vermont.

Besides skiing, these programs aim to connect students with history and science, by teaching them about Midwestern Scandinavian heritage and sports.

bruce-manskeWith questions about the CXC “Nordic Rocks for Schools” program, please contact Bruce Manske.

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