Central Cross Country Skiing, the governing organization for cross country skiing in the Central Region, has taken a big step to grow its youth programs naming Dan LaBlanc as youth director. He will oversee an award-winning youth sports program including CXC’s Nordic Rocks for Schools and Parks.
The youth director position serves as a central resource to grow and support the Central Region youth cross country skiing community. It is responsible for the management of the award-winning Nordic Rocks for Schools program, coordination of partnerships between schools and clubs and assisting communities in supporting and starting new youth programs.
LaBlanc brings an extensive career resume to CXC including over 30 years experience in business management including ownership of Kettle Moraine Adventure Company in Jefferson, Wis. He has experience as a coach or instructor in a wide range of youth sports, including cross country skiing with the Peak Nordic Ski Club in Delafield, Wis., alpine skiing, mountain biking and youth soccer. He has extensive certification as a Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA) cross country instructor including level 3 and National Academy. He skied his first American Birkebeiner in 1981.
“I’ve been an avid skier for many years and for the past decade my focus has turned to teaching,” said LaBlanc. “Now, my greatest joy comes from helping people of all ages fall in love with skiing and the healthy lifestyle it brings. When I see the smile on a new skier’s face, or the joy a veteran has when they master a new skill, it warms my heart.”
LaBlanc takes over an expanded role from Bruce Manske, who left CXC this spring after helping boost a fledgling Nordic Rocks program to new heights, impacting around 20,000 new skiers through hundreds of programs throughout the midwest.
“Dan brings the ideal experience to continue to grow our CXC youth programs including Nordic Rocks,” said CXC Executive Director Yuriy Gusev. “CXC takes great pride in having introduced thousands of youth to the sport.”
One of LaBlanc’s responsibilities is supporting and growing the Nordic Rocks program in place at over 150 schools around the midwest, and expanding the program to new markets. He will also grow communications with youth clubs and programs around the region to provide support for their own local initiatives.
“While I have a lot to learn about CXC and the Nordic Rocks program, I am confident that my success in business management, my experience in outdoor recreation, and my passion for coaching and teaching, will combine for continued growth,” added LaBlanc. “The opportunity to touch more lives through CXC is thrilling. My mission and passion for spreading the good news of cross country skiing, align perfectly with that of CXC.”
LaBlanc will work out of the CXC Center of Excellence office and training center in Madison, Wis.
Central Cross Country Skiing (CXC) is a non-profit sports organization recognized by U.S. Ski & Snowboard and the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) as the regional governing body for the cross country skiing in the 10-state Central Region of the United States. CXC is also recognized by the U.S. Paralympics as a Gold Level Paralympic Sport Club. CXC is a 4,000-member service organization that promotes the culture of cross country skiing by creating opportunities for athletes and coaches of all backgrounds to participate and advance in the sport through schools, clubs, sport specific programs, events and education.