BIG Roll 2019

by Cross Country Nova Scotia, November 15, 2019

The Big Roll brought members of the cross-country ski community together from across three provinces, who roller-skied and skied their way, collectively, 2.85 times from Halifax Nordic to North Highlands Nordic – at the first annual “Big Roll” held on Sunday, November 10th, 2019. A collective total kilometres was calculated by adding each person’s distance travelled. The Nova Scotia cross-country ski team hosted this event to increase awareness for roller-skiing and raise funds to off-set competitive training.



The Big Roll was the catalyst for good times on roller-skis. From first time roller-skiers through seasoned athletes, this event offered something for everyone.

Event Highlights

Youths from Halifax Nordic Ski Club enjoyed the speed, newcomers definitely lost track of time trying out this sport, our provincial team participated diligently, the New Brunswick provincial team participated virtually, and Nova Scotia supporters were inspired to hit the road. A “feel-good” event that we endeavour to repeat.

Supportive XC Community

The provincial team received many encouraging messages from the community leading up to the Big Roll. Thank-you to all friends and family of the team for taking the time to write positive notes. We are fortunate to practice the sport we love within such a positive environment.

Try-It Roller-Skiing – Halifax Nordic

Halifax Nordic hosted a session alongside the Big Roll for members to try roller-skiing. Coordinated by David Hubley, it was a fantastic opportunity for first-timers to give it a try and add to the Big Roll’s collective kilometres. Halifax instructors Hannah and Jack led the youth roller-skiing group during the event – thank-you!

Halifax Nordic has a fleet of roller-skis available to members during club events. Roller-skiing is cross-country ski specific training and FUN!

Provincial Team Alumni Give Back to XC Ski Community

Supporting the provincial team is an investment in future cross-country ski communities. The provincial program cultivates volunteerism, technically-skilled skiers, and provides life purpose through sport for young athletes – who in turn pay it forward. As photographed below, Lilla Roy, provincial team alumni, assists a first-time roller-ski participant during the Big Roll.

Lilla Roy, provincial team alumni, assists a first-time roller-ski participant during the Big Roll.

Lilla Roy’s father, Pierre, was also involved with a similar roller-ski event. Let’s go back to 1979, when Pierre Roy was president of the P.A. Arctic Fox Cross-Country Ski Club. Roy initiated a 24 hour relay roller-thon. The event flyer included his quote, which holds true today: “Your support will guarantee a high caliber of instructors for tomorrow’s skiers”. Indeed, many alumni of the P.A. Arctic Fox club continued on to coach and volunteer within the cross-country ski community.

A generation after the Arctic Fox relay, Pierre Roy’s daughter, a provincial team alumni who also trained with Arctic Fox, volunteered at the Big Roll. Lilla Roy coached participants in the “try-it” roller-ski, and provided support to the provincial team athletes during the event. She volunteers with the current provincial team and served as assistant coach at the 2019 Canada Winter Games. Read more about the P.A. Arctic Fox Roller-Ski Relay (click this link).

Program – 1979 Arctic Fox 24 Hour Roller-Ski Relay

Thank-you to all supporters of the Nova Scotia cross-country ski team – past and present. You are enabling our historic program to continue to provide meaningful life-long experiences for many Nova Scotians. See you at the 2020 Big Roll!