Volunteer of the Year – Lorenzo Caterini

Top Honours

by Cross Country Nova Scotia Staff, June 7, 2020

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Cross Country Nova Scotia is proud announce Lorenzo Caterini as the Support4Sport 2019-20 Volunteer of the Year. Caterini is President of Halifax Nordic Ski Club and Head Groomer. This Support4Sport award recognizes individuals who are dedicated to advancing the sport of cross-country skiing.

Caterini has made enormous, game-changing contributions to cross-country skiing in Nova Scotia through tireless and highly innovative contributions to trail development, grooming, partnerships with governments and private sector businesses, race organizing and timing, club governance, fundraising, support to other ski clubs, collaboration with other sports – and as an inspiring and fierce competitor.

Cross-Country Ski Trail Expansion & Grooming

Since 2015 Lorenzo has played the central role in expanding the network of groomed cross country ski trails managed by the Halifax Nordic Ski Club (HNSC). His efforts to increase the number of ski venues close to Halifax has also contributed substantially to the growth of our sport – with the Brunello Golf Course and Graves Oakley field both within 15 minutes of downtown Halifax.

HNSC trails include:

· Brunello Golf Club

· Dollar Lake Provincial Park

· Graves Oakley Park

· Smiley’s Provincial Park

· Oakfield Golf Club

· MacDonald Sport Park

Public and Private-Sector Partnerships

The expansion of HNSC’s groomed trail network has required extensive networking and partnerships with privately-owned golf courses, Halifax Regional Municipality and with Nova Scotia Provincial Parks – all under Lorenzo’s leadership.

On behalf of HNSC Lorenzo spearheaded the partnership with Brunello Estates Golf Club in 2016 to groom ski trails on their paved golf cart tracks and driving range – as well as extensive financial and in-kind contributions by Brunello Estates, including staff time to groom trails and maintain equipment.

He also forged partnerships with Oakfield Golf and Country Club (site of the 2020 NS Provincial Ski Championships) and with NS Provincial Parks to groom trails at Dollar Lake Provincial Park and Smiley’s Provincial Park and with the Halifax Regional Municipality to groom trails at Graves Oakley Park and the MacDonald Sports Park.

Grooming

Lorenzo oversees a team of volunteer club groomers and staff at two golf clubs – and also dedicates a huge amount of his own time grooming.

Snowmaking and Trail Lighting

Working with Brunello Golf Club, Lorenzo spearheaded the project to make snow (2019-20) and to add lighting for night skiing (2020). These innovations have been game changing for HNSC’s capacity to consistently deliver ski programs, host events and to provide a ski training venue when there is no snow anywhere else.

HNSC offered youth and adult programming every weekend through the 2020 regular season and added Monday night classes – due to the new snowmaking facilities at the Links of Brunello. The addition of the Brunello ‘snow bowl’ also made it possible to plan try-it cross-country skiing events. 

Race Organizing and Timing

Caterini has organized dozens of races with 48 hours notice – often attracting over 50 skiers. His key principle of race organizing is to keep everything simple and low cost – which also helps to maximize participation.

Nova Scotia winter weather conditions create serious challenges for race organizing. On mainland NS, it is impossible to predict where and when there will be snow – so it is impossible to organize races months or even weeks in advance. This situation requires a highly creative ad adaptable approach to race organizing – which Lorenzo has mastered, making it possible for competitive skiers in NS to race against each other on a regular basis.

JOHN CAMERON | PRESIDENT | CROSS COUNTRY NOVA SCOTIA

Lorenzo also played a key role in coordinating the grooming and timing for provincially-sanctioned ski races, including the 2020 Provincial Championships. Caterini is photographed below at the event.

Caterini oversees the start at the 2020 NS Provincial Championships at Oakfield Golf and Country Club – a new addition to HNSC trail system for 2019-2020.

In addition to races in NS, he has also organized an end-of-season Loppet in Kouchibouguac National Park in New Brunswick (2018, 2019, 2020) in coordination with CCNS and CCNB – extending the race season for NS skiers into late March. 

Caterini also coordinated a partnership with Bicycle Nova Scotia (BNS) and Cross Country Nova Scotia to share a set of Zone4 chip timing equipment, which reduces costs for both organizations and makes it possible to offer timing for pop-up races (when it is just not possible to set up sanctioned timing equipment).

Lorenzo is the master-timer behind a growing team of timing volunteers and has set up the timing system on Zone4 for almost every ski race in NS over the past 3 years.

JOHN CAMERON | PRESIDENT | CROSS COUNTRY NOVA SCOTIA

Governance

Lorenzo currently serves on the board of directors of 3 organizations: Halifax Nordic Ski Club, Cross Country Nova Scotia, and Bicycle Nova Scotia. He joined the board of HNSC in 2016, taking on leadership for grooming and trail expansion, and then became club President in 2018. He has also been a committed member of the CCNS board since 2018 and the BNS board (as events coordinator) since 2015. He took on the role of President of HNSC at a time when the club’s future was still uncertain following the transition from Martock and has led the growth of club membership. His connections to Bicycle Nova Scotia have been crucial in facilitating a number of cost-saving projects, including the sharing of the Zone4 chip timing system and a new covered trailer.

As part of his commitment to governance, Lorenzo has also provided important support to other ski clubs; for example, in Winter 2020 he organized a ‘Snowmobile operators training course’ (on the Brunello snowbowl) primarily in response to need by the Friends of Ellenwood Park club in Yarmouth, NS (300km away) to train new groomers. He has also provided guidance to other clubs to manufacture low-cost grooming equipment and to use Zone4 to organize and time races.

Inspiring Athlete and Competitor

In addition to all of his tireless work to enable other people to ski, Lorenzo is also a very impressive athlete – and provides key competition for many of the athletes on the provincial ski team (who are more than 30 years younger than he is!).

Caterini has competed in the A Group of the Gatineau Loppet and Canadian Masters Ski Championships multiple times and regularly podiums in the ‘open’ category of the NS Provincial Championships. In 2016, he also won the masters age category in the national championships of four cycling events.

Lorenzo’s love of skiing and ski racing is what’s behind all of his tireless behind the scenes work to make skiing possible in NS. While many other people might focus their energy on themselves – travelling to other provinces to race and ski – Lorenzo has poured his time, creativity and energy into Nova Scotia, making it possible for hundreds of other people to share his passion. 

Historic Award Recipients

We’re proud of all our athletes and volunteers demonstrating excellence in our sport. Take a peek at our historic recipients.

· Volunteer Awards 1995-2020

· Provincial Team Awards 1995-2020

Cross County Nova Scotia would like to congratulate Lorenzo Caterini on being awarded the Volunteer of the Year award, and extend a sincere “thank-you” for everything he does for our sport.

Photos

Lorenzo’s commitment to fundraising included: grant-writing, individual donation campaigns, and organizing races that generate funds for grooming.

Related Media

Halifax Nordic Ski Club at at The Links at Brunello, Global News Morning Halifax 2020

Man Wins 4 Cycling Titles at Age 50, CBC 2016

Why is this Halifax Golf Course making snow? | Halifax Buzz 2020

Ski Project May Even Lure Me Outside this Winter. |. The Chronicle Herald 2019

Cross Country Skiing has amazing resurgence in Nova Scotia. |. CBC 2016


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