The Laker News – Head Coach Daniel Murray

COVID19 creates opportunities for athletes

by The Laker News, February 16, 2021 (original article, click)

OAKFIELD: The COVID19 pandemic has had an impact of the athletes with the Cross-Country Ski N.S. team. But it has also created opportunities for the athletes.

Provincial ski team head coach Daniel Murray said that following the COVID19 regulations, the athletes have not had any exposure to high performance competition. During normal years, the N.S. team regularly travels to Ontario/Quebec and occasionally Western Canada to compete against some very deep competitive fields. 

“These experiences are not only valuable for athletic development, but they are great opportunities for personal growth,” said Murray in a recent interview. “The trips are also plenty of fun. But during COVID times, the team has been limited to making their own magic here in NS, and consequentially have had to focus more on their number one competitor…. their own self.”

Several of the provincial team members—Jack MacMillan; Emma Archibald; and Grace McIntyre—are all from the Fall River area. They’ve been getting extra time in to hone their skills and stay in tip top shape at the trails at Oakfield Golf and Country Club.

Murray said for most of the athletes they must be their number one competitor at national level races, only that there are many extrinsic ingredients to the experience that facilitate this process. 

“When one is out of the external environment, it means that they’ve had to cultivate a more robust internal environment,” he said. “In other words, as much as the COVID situation has created many challenges, it can also be an ocean of opportunities, if one adopts a constructive perspective.”

DANIEL MURRAY | HEAD COACH, NS XC SKI TEAM

— End of Article —

Special thank-you to Pat Healey, reporter for The Laker News, for taking the time to speak with the head coach of the provincial team. We appreciate your professionalism — along with your dedication to detail for all of your stories. Thank-you for making a difference and helping us share this aspect of training during a pandemic. We hope this story inspires others to stay physically active and find opportunities during this time.

2021 Team Training Camp at North Highlands Nordic

The Nova Scotia cross-country ski team travelled to North Highlands Nordic in Cape North, Cape Breton, for a training camp led by head coach, Daniel Murray. It’s a long-standing tradition. Training camps have been held at this club, with ventures to surrounding areas, for years. Travelling to challenge themselves at North Highlands Nordic is particularly meaningful, especially during the pandemic restrictions.

Athletes meet prior to training in front of the newly constructed groomer and storage building at North Highlands Nordic. A new access trail was also constructed for the 2020-2021 season. The club is planning to build Nova Scotia’s first cross-country ski chalet for the 2021-2022 season. Head coach Daniel Murray, photographed right. Kris Doyon, photographed 5th from left, NS ski team alumni, hometown club is North Highlands Nordic. Doyon is currently coaching club athletes based at Halifax Nordic Ski Club. (Photo – Melanie MacDermid)


Athletes, along with coach Murray, perform a time trial in which athletes perform a simulated race. (Photos – Melanie MacDermid)


Linda Murray, photographed left, wears a new pink hat which is part of the new North Highlands Nordic branded clothing. If you are interested in ordering a hat, zip sweater or hoodie, please contact, nhn@xcski.ca. Multiple colours are available for all items. We like the bright pink hats – really shows up out on the trails! (Photos – Melanie MacDermid)


Team time trial. (Photos – Melanie MacDermid)


Enjoying the 12 km of trails at North Highlands Nordic. Trails are groomed for 16′ width for skate skiing, classic skiing, and snowshoeing. Rental equipment is available which includes skis for all sizes, snowshoes, or a pulk (child’s sleigh).


Incredible scenery! Team members photographed with the Aspy Fault in the background. (Photo – Daniel Murray)


Chalet Building Fund – North Highlands Nordic

> Donate (click this link)

After almost thirty-five years we, the members of North Highlands Nordic believe that the time is right to have a stand alone facility dedicated to cross country skiing and snowshoeing in northern Cape Breton. A new Chalet will offer a wonderful winter destination in northern Cape Breton and a much needed “winter social hub” for the community. NHN already boasts over ten kilometres of scenic trails groomed expertly by a state of art PistenBully grooming machine for classic and skate skiing and is open to the public every winter. Now we need a welcoming facility that we can all be proud of. 

Presently we are applying for various government grants. Keeping this in mind, North Highlands Nordic will have the potential to triple your donation through our partnership with Nordiq Canada. We are soliciting your help to make this dream a reality. Many people will benefit from your generosity. Support the chalet fund (click here).


There are many colours to choose from! If you’re interested in ordering branded clothing, please contact, nhn@xcski.ca. You will be supporting the club and gaining a great new item to wear.


Links

>Provincial Team

>Chalet Building Fund – North Highlands Nordic

>Construction and Trail Addition at North Highlands Nordic

>North Highlands Nordic | Website

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