Cross Country Nova Scotia is proud to announce Halifax Nordic Ski Club’s Fiona McClure as the recipient of the 2020 Bryan Scallion Award for the fastest female skier at the Nova Scotia Cross-Country Ski Championships. McClure achieved the top female aggregate time, calculated across two days of racing, for the 14.4km classic and 14.4km skate events. The CCNS board of directors established this award to honour Bryan Scallion’s lifetime dedication to advancing the sport of cross-country skiing in Nova Scotia, along with his unwavering commitment to developing competitive athletes.
Published: July 6, 2020
Fiona McClure competes at the 2020 Provincial Championships hosted by Halifax Nordic Ski Club at Oakfield Golf and Country Club, on Feb 22nd-23rd. Susan McClure, Fiona’s mother, overlooks her daughter’s start to the classic race, before she participated as well.
The Nova Scotia Cross-Country Ski Championships has been hosted by cross-country ski clubs annually for more than 50 years, at various locations throughout the province. Skiers of all ages and abilities are encouraged to participate and experience the camaraderie inherent in this long-standing event.
Celebrating ski racing for more than 50 years at the Nova Scotia Provincial Championships.
Halifax Nordic Ski Club hosted the 2020 Provincials at Oakfield Golf and Country Club, a first-time venue for the championships, attracting 40 skiers from ages 7-70 years. The two-day event offered race distances of 1.8km – 14.4km on a 1.5km serpentine loop, in classic and freestyle techniques on Feb 22nd – 23rd.
“The course design of a 1.5km serpentine loop was out of necessity due to temperature well above zero mid-week. This resulted in concrete like snow as temps fell back below zero, to get the snow on to a safe skiable consistency require 50km of grooming passes over 2 days with HNSC grooming equipment.”LORENZO CATERINI | PRESIDENT | HALIFAX NORDIC SKI CLUB
2 X Championship Wins for McClure
Fiona McClure was awarded gold at the 2020 Provincial Championships for the 14.4 km classic and 14.4 km skate events. “Fiona had great season, and continues to show lots of initiative to challenge herself in training and learning process as a racer,” advises Daniel Murray who is head coach for the provincial team. Coach Murray also received the 2020 Bryan Scallion Award, for fastest male skier aggregate time at Provincials.
McClure racing at the 2020 provincials.
McClure racing at the 2020 provincials.
Provincial Team Athlete
McClure trains year-round as a member of the provincial cross-country ski team which provides learning experiences in sport and life. “The objective of the team is to share information, build esprit de corps and friendships, and to provide competitive opportunities and learning challenges,” as stated in the team contact.
Provincial team athletes commit to act as ambassadors within the cross-country ski community. During provincial championships team athletes were observed supporting young skiers by cheering them on, giving them big high-fives, and presenting them with participation medals. After the final participant crossed the finish line, the team assisted with various tasks required to shut-down the course.
Supporting the young participants.
Ski team volunteering after the 2020 Provincials events.
McClure’s home training facility is Halifax Nordic Cross Country Ski Club, which provides six groomed trail systems – including snowmaking at The Links at Brunello. As a provincial ski team member, McClure trains at her home club with support from club coaches including provincial ski team alumni, Kris Doyon.
Provincial team athletes also take-on leadership roles within their respective clubs. Throughout the 2019-2020 season, McClure and fellow team-mate Grace McIntyre, volunteered to teach weekly evening ski lessons to Halifax Nordic Ski Club’s young participants, at The Links at Brunello. At the heart of our province’s history of cross-country ski culture are dedicated volunteers with a passion for promoting the sport. Gaining technical skiing expertise, along with connecting to the greater cross-country ski community is an important aspect of our provincial team program.
On behalf of the CCNS board of directors and the cross-country ski community we extend our heartfelt congratulations on this achievement. Wishing you every success in your cross-country ski training for the upcoming season.
Historic Award Recipients
History – Bryan Scallion Award
The Bryan Scallion Award was established by Cross Country Nova Scotia, to honour Bryan Scallion’s lifetime dedication to advancing the sport of cross-country skiing in Nova Scotia, along with his unwavering commitment to developing competitive athletes.
Bjorger Peterson, (right) head coach of Canada’s National cross-country ski team talks over the race results with some of the members of the national team. Pictured from left are: Brian Scallion of Nova Scotia who finished third in the men’s race, Hans Skinstad who won the men’s race, and Sharon Firth who won the women’s race with a time of 19:59 for the five kilometers.
Bryan was a decorated Nova Scotia endurance athlete, who was recognized at a national level in various sports while training in Nova Scotia. Scallion was a leader in the Nova Scotia sporting community, participating in events ranging from track and field to triathlon to cross-country skiing. Bryan represented Nova Scotia at the Canada Winter Games as an athlete in 1971 and 1975. Bryan also represented Canada as a member of the National Biathlon team and the National Espoir Cross-Country Ski Team from 1997-1982. Bryan won the Canadian Ski Marathon during this time, as well as various national titles. He was also selected to the Canadian Olympic Biathlon team for the 1980 Lake Place Olympics.
Bryan competed on the Dalhousie University Cross-Country Running team, while attending the school. In his later years Bryan took up the sports of triathlon and duathlon. Always a contender in his age group, Bryan also won two provincial titles when he was over forty years old. He won his national age group champion various times in both triathlon and duathlon and represented Canada at World Championships as an age-group athlete – securing 11th and 12th place finishes. Bryan was also a tough competitor in road and mountain biking events, as well as orienteering.
Bryan was an outstanding coach and administrator. He coached the Nova Scotia Provincial Cross-Country Ski team for many years, including at the Canada Winter Games in 1979 and 1983. Many of the athletes who were on these teams speak of the long-lasting influence that Bryan had on their lives. Bryan initiated the Honey Pot Ski Loppet in Wentworth, Nova Scotia, in 1977. This loppet is the longest running loppet in our province. In 1991, Bryan was the Chief of Competition for the biathlon events at the Canada Winter Games. Between 1995 and 2007, at least one of Bryan’s children continued the family tradition by representing Nova Scotia in various events at every Canada Winter Games.
Bryan had a lasting impact on the lives of many people – not only those who were acquainted with him through sport. His dedication to fun and enjoyment of an active lifestyle, his love of competition, and his loyalty to his province and country have led many to follow in his footsteps.
Photos & Articles
Thank-you to Dianne Powell for providing photos from the Scallion family albums.
1971 Dalhousie University Ski Team. Bryan Scallion, centre.
Photo #1 – Article (Chronicle Herald, 1971). Photo #2 – 1971 Canada Winter Games. Bryan Scallion skiing, far left.
Bryan was featured on the poster for the 1975 Canadian Ski Marathon (right).
1979 Canadian Biathlon Team. Bryan Scallion, second from left.