Greetings NENSA Community ~

We have had such fun offering our NENSA ski community our new virtual programing this April and May - so much so, we might just keep this #25KinMAY challenge even when this pandemic is over! We love all your photos, Instagram and fb posts - keep them coming! To date our community has officially logged over 4516 km's with 163 signed up on SkiReg ~ and unofficially, many more! We encourage everyone to join our challenge ~ there are still 10 days left in May, plenty of time to dust off your roller skis, and get out to start logging some km's! Go to SkiReg to sign up - there are a number of levels you can choose - something for EVERYONE, including an option to bike or walk/run your km's too. We have some great prizes to give away to participants at the end of the month who have signed up on SkiReg!

Our Competitive Program Director, Justin Beckwith, hosted our second live Virtual Wednesday Night Conversation last week, with Andy Newell and Will Koch. If you missed the live Instagram feed, we have the full 53 minute unedited version our YouTube channel now - and will have a shorter edited version for you all shortly! And please remember to subscribe to our NENSA YouTube page!

And stay tuned for our June virtual programing ~ #JuneTerm is coming!!

Here's what we have in store for you in this week's KickZone ~
  • Check out our LEADERS in all the #25KinMAY categories in the box below, as well as a link to RESULTS for everyone's progress on NENSA is partnering with SWIX for our #25KinMAY Rollerski Challenge May 1-31 ~ join the fun!
  • In honor of our 25th year, all NENSA memberships are just $25 for the month of May - BKL, juniors, adults and coaches - renew your membership today!!
  • Jim Rodrigues receives the US Ski & Snowboard 2020 Al Merrill Award, posthumously
  • NENSA Donor LOVE ~ a few kind words from our recent NENSA donors
  • In honor of our 25th year ~ we are looking for photos showing our NENSA history ~ especially from the early years of NENSA. Clubs, races, staff, Board members, Committees, events...if you have photos to share please email them to (yes - we've created a special email for NENSA's history!) 1995-2020. Thanks!
  • From US Ski & Snowboard: SMS wins overall Club of the Year; Kate Barton named new Development Team Coach; CXC Nordic Rocks program named finalist for the FIS Snowkidz Award.
  • From UVM: a summer Climate Change course being offered virtually this July
  • Check out NENSA's new VIRTUAL Resources TAB on for all the latest programing from NENSA, clubs across New England, and beyond.
  • Stay tuned...#JuneTerm is coming!!

I hope this eNewsletter finds everyone safe and well, and able to get outside to enjoy this beautiful May weather!

Amie W. Smith
Executive Director
New England Nordic Ski Association

Be sure to follow us on fb, Twitter and on Instagram @nensa_nordic
NENSA News from the Field
Highlights and Notes from NENSA and the Nordic World
Ski #25KinMAY
NENSA Rollerski Challenge
May 1 - May 31
Welcome to the first ever NENSA Virtual Rollerski Series Event!

This May NENSA is partnering with SWIX and we are focusing on returning to rollerskis and we want you to challenge yourself! Registration is on SkiReg

5/21 UPDATE: Check out how YOU, and everyone is progressing with their KM's on our RESULTS Tab on !!
In our Speedy Repeater Category our top Leaders are:
  1. Dave Hannon (Dublin XC) with 57 km skied so far
  2. Emma C Charles (Mt Blue) close behind with 54.6 km skied so far
  3. Bryan E Jajkowski (Adirondak Vahuti), on both their tails with 50.86 km skied so far
In the Rockstar Category our current Leaders are:
  1. Will Koch (SMS) with 100km skied so far
  2. Theodore Mollano (Dublin XC) with 56.84 km skied so far
  3. Anthony Mollano (Blackwater Hopkinton NH) with 56.8 km skied so far
In the At My Own Pace Category our current Leaders are:
  1. Tom Thurston (Waterbury Wolfpack) with 90 km skied so far
  2. Elliot Parsons (EMBK) with 78.825 km skied so far
  3. Sophia Giangrande (Yukon Ski Team) with 76 km skied so far
In the Keeping up with Beckwith category:
  1. Bob Witkowski with 324.87 km skied so far
  2. Tom Thurston (Waterbury Wolfpack) with 236.2 km skied so far
  3. Thomas Lewis with 234.58 km skied so far

As you can see - the km's skied are close and tight - be sure to check out the RESULTS tab above for updates on everyone progress on 5/21, 5/28 and 5/31. Plenty of time left to join the fun and sign up, and send us your km's skied this May! #NENSAVirtualPrograming #25KinMAY #HaveFun


This event is for everyone and based primarily on participation, although there will be prizes for fast times, exceptional routes and reporting.  The number one rule is: BE SAFE. Skiers must select terrain suitable for their skill level within close proximity to their homes – and are encouraged to complete the event solo or with support staff from within your own household. Distance (10+ feet – no drafting) must be maintained if skiing with others.   Rollerski Safety Rules

Entries can be submitted at any point between May 1st and May 31st. NENSA will display and showcase results throughout the challenge — videos and pictures are encouraged with each event submission. Skiers can enter multiple times – we’ll have and Ironman and Ironwoman award for those special endurance types!

Besides category prizes, each entry will receive one raffle ticket (two tickets if you have renewed your 2021 NENSA membership!) towards our prize pool which currently includes some awesome SWIX rollerskis from their new fleet, and SWIX poles, as well as 2 one-night stays at Trapp Family Lodge (valid until 9/20/20), and 4 Trapp Trail Use Passes, as we'll as prizes from, Swenor and Salomon - with more great prizes being added weekly!

Three options to sign up for:  Rockstar  (for folks who want to ski the full 25km in one go),  Speedy Repeaters  (this could be a stab at the fastest time, or someone who wants to break up 25km into more manageable pieces), and  My Own Pace  (This is the touring class. Or for folks who might not be comfortable on rollerskis and want to participate but by other means, i.e. on foot, bike…). We’ve added a fourth category! “Keep Up with Beckwith” – this category is geared towards Master's skiers to keep pace with our Competitive Program Director as he shoots for roughly 200km of skiing throughout the month.

The goal of the event is to provide excitement to our broader cross country skiing community and continue the momentum of NENSA’s Rollerski Programming despite our current travel and social distancing restrictions. Anyone can compete – recruit friends from outside New England to join you – haven’t rollerskied in 12 years? … this is your event! Let’s see how many kilometers we can ski TOGETHER!!

Each skier is responsible for submitting results to NENSA via GoogleDocs after completing their 25km Challenge. Be creative and share your story – the training season is young – Let’s Have Fun!!

Jim Rodrigues receives the U.S. Ski & Snowboard
2020 Al Merrill Nordic Award, posthumously
NENSA, and the entire national TD community is thrilled this award has been bestowed upon Jim, we only wish he could have been here to receive it - he would have been very honored. It is a double whammy that with the pandemic, US Ski & Snowboard Congress was virtual, so the annual dinner and gala where these awards are given out was cancelled too...another lost opportunity to honor Jim, even posthumously, with his life work. I want to share this letter with you all today, with some of the thoughts from his friends and colleagues, sent into U.S. Ski & Snowboard, for Jim's nomination this year.

A letter from Tiger Shaw, U.S. Ski & Snowboard:
May 15, 2020

I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Jim Rodrigues on having been selected to receive the 2020 Al Merrill Nordic Award, which is presented to the individual or group involved with any aspect of Nordic skiing (cross country, Nordic combined or ski jumping), who demonstrated an exceptional level of commitment, leadership, and devotion to excellence.
Each Nordic sport committee submits a nominee with the final selection being made by the sport committee chairs. The committees were unanimous in recognizing Jim's lifetime efforts.

The following was provided for the nomination:
  • "Jim was a current FIS TD for U.S. Ski & Snowboard, and has been for many years - working with colleges across the US, Canada and South America, on both cross country skiing and rollerski competitions."
  • "Jim was planning to retire from his work as a TD and Chief of Competition, and mentor to all, this spring, when he died unexpectedly. But he still made some very major contributions to our Nordic ski community this past season, and even more importantly, in his lifetime."
  • "His continued commitment to the annual NENSA TD & Event Organizer training, held the weekend of September 22 & 23. Jim's presentations and perspective on all matters of TD'ing - as a mentor to our newer group of TD's in training, and as a colleague to his TD friends, was always inspiring and appreciated."
  • "Chief of Comp/Chief of Course for both the first ever Harvard Carnival (January), and for the NENSA Dublin Double Eastern Cup Races (February). A mentor to the Dublin School helping them improve and expand their trail system and start snowmaking there (this past year)"
  • "Chief of Stadium for the NENSA New England Bill Koch Festival held at Great Glen 2/29 & 3/1 - Jim was there with his dear friend Mouse (Dan Warner - TD for the event) helping him in any matters that needed to be done that weekend. We have no official Chief of Comp or Chief of Race for that Festival, but Jim was there all weekend doing whatever needed to be done, setting up the entire stadium, and helping with all the races."
  • "Jim was packing his bags, on his way to be the TD in Lake Placid for a collegiate competition, when he died very unexpectedly."
  • "Jim's passing leaves a huge hole in both our New England Nordic Ski community, as well as with friends and colleagues from across the country, and beyond. We lost a great friend and colleague. Jim was a dear friend to so many. He worked for NENSA for many years as an Event Organizer, as well as a U.S. Ski & Snowboard FIS Technical Delegate official, Chief of Competition, trail designer, coach, mentor and friend to so many of us."

I am so sorry for this loss.
Tiger Shaw President & CEO
You heard it right ~ all NENSA BKL, junior, adult and coach memberships are only $25 for the month of May! There has never been a better time to RENEW your
NENSA membership!
Two of the great prizes up for grabs in our NENSA #25KinMAY Rollerski Challenge from
SWIX and Salomon!
SWIX sent every NENSA member an email with special additional 15% off team savings on these Triac Carbon Rollerskis, and more, on May 11th ~ go back and search your email to take advantage of these special savings - each email had a unique code and the shop link.
Salomon's new FW20 SLAB Carbon skate (Jessie Diggins, Sophie Caldwell, Simi Hamilton, Andy Newell) boots
A few kind words and LOVE from our NENSA Donors
from this past April and May Fund Drives
Thank You ~ your words inspire us and push us each and every day!

  • Love everything NENSA does!
  • Appreciation for all NENSA does to make New England such a great nordic ski community.
  • NENSA is the best ❤️
  • Celebrating 25th NENSA Anniversary, a great Nordic Community, and 44 years of personal fun with Nordic Skiing!
  • Enjoy participating in events and receiving information.
  • We love NENSA!!
  • Great work during the lockdown!
  • Great organization that supports our youth in their Nordic ski and life goals.
  • Keep the kids skiing!
  • Great experience at your women's ski event, as a beginner.
  • Great experience with the BKL program.
  • In support of NENSA Programs.
  • Great people, great programs! Thank you!
  • Incredible mission and quality of programming.
  • I value the work that NENSA is doing to encourage and promote cross country skiing in New England.
  • NENSA supports me, hosts races, and supports so many young skiers.
  • Thoroughly enjoy NENSA races, events, and people associated with NENSA. A very rewarding way to enjoy best of winter in New England
  • Memory of longtime friend, Jim Rodrigues.
  • I donate to honor the life and work of Jim Rodrigues.
  • NENSA rocks! Thanks for everything you do.
  • I want to support XC skiing in NE!
  • NENSA is a wonderful organization that introducing kids to xc skiing.
  • Amie's mail! Tuesday night races at Weston! Citizens' events all around New England! 25 in 20! the 25th anniversary! the COVID-19 blues! All of the above! When I stumbled into Weston a few years ago, my life became richer beyond compare. I'm so grateful for my winter family.
  • We want to support NENSA in everything they do!
  • The people and the community!
  • I want to see NENSA continue to support youth with goals to excel in Nordic skiing.
  • Love the $25 from every member challenge!
  • NENSA was a wonderful aid to my experience as a junior athlete and it has been a joy to be supported by NENSA again as I begin to coach. I'm grateful for the amazing staff and culture.
  • I believe in their mission promoting Nordic skiing.
  • NENSA is doing a great job for the New England ski community on so many levels!
  • So grateful for all NENSA does!
  • Thank you NENSA for your support of Junior programming!
  • It's the right thing to do.
  • NENSA needs the money.
  • NENSA does so much for the ski community where I live and I want to show how much I appreciate all of the hard work.
  • This is a great organization that builds healthy communities for all ages. Thank you!
  • The Newsletter, plus all the great work NENSA does to develop Nordic skiing!
  • For all of the great programming, organization, and resources NENSA provides.
  • Our daughters have benefited from the amazing programs that NENSA has to offer. Starting with BK Festivals up through Eastern Cup races there has been so much positive support and an atmosphere that fosters the love of Nordic Skiing.
  • NENSA has been very good to me.
  • I have been a member of NENSA 10 years now and enjoy what they offer!
  • Great organization that supports Nordic skiing in NE from the youngest to the oldest skiers.
  • $25in20
Inspired?? NENSA is always happy for your support year round!
Looking for some fun challenges and ways to stay fit and engaged during these shelter at home times? Check out some of these fun ideas from our NENSA Virtual Resources TAB on
Workout of the Day:
Get the  SkiErg Workout of the Day delivered to your inbox every morning. Click on the link to sign up and get a custom workout delivered to your inbox each day!
More News from our NENSA Partners & Community!
US Ski & Snowboard CLUB OF THE YEAR:
Stratton Mountain School ~ Congrats!!
Always one of the top multi-sport programs in America, Stratton Mountain School earned top honors as the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Club of the Year. The Vermont academy also picked up both Freeski and Snowboard Club of the Year recognition.

"We are proud to receive recognition as U.S. Ski & Snowboard's Overall Club of the year after a season of immense hard work and achievement for all five of our winter sports programs. Following this past season's athletic accomplishments, alongside another year of impressive college placements, our community is excited to continue the tradition of excellence that has guided Stratton Mountain School since 1972."
  - Chris Kaltsas, Headmaster

Established in 1972, Stratton Mountain School has a storied tradition. It has sent 46 student-athletes to the Olympics, capturing six medals. Over the years, it has placed 118 athletes onto national teams, including 17 this past season. It was also named Club of the Year in 2009.
Club of the Year recognizes a club with a commitment to program, youth, and overall athlete development, along with the development of facilities, commitment to the region and national structure, coach certification, and professional development, plus season accomplishments.
Stratton Mountain School provides a unique environment that offers each student the opportunity to pursue excellence in competitive winter sports and college preparatory academics while developing strong personal values. The program, which features alpine, cross country, freeskiing, freestyle and snowboard programs, is a gold level U.S. Ski & Snowboard Podium Club.
This past year the club saw success in all five sport programs from current and alumni athletes. Will Koch won cross country bronze at the Youth Olympic Games, 2019 alum Zeb Powell took gold in knuckle huck at X Games Aspen and 2018 graduate Caroline Claire won a slopestyle World Cup at Seiser Alm.
This past season alpine sent five student-athletes to U.S. Junior National Championships, freeski qualified 15 to USASA Nationals, 75% of freestyle athletes qualified for Junior Nationals with 50% making it to U.S. Championships, nordic continued its string of 25 years with at least one medal at Junior Nationals and snowboard recorded 57 podiums at USASA events.
In recent years Stratton Mountain School has focused on facilities. It has developed a high-performance center focused on sport science and sports medicine including a field house, gymnasium, strength and condition, rehabilitation and outdoor fields, as well as an air awareness center and yoga studio.
Kate Barton Joins Davis U.S. Cross Country Team Staff:
The Davis U.S. Cross Country Ski Team welcomes a new staff members for the 2020-21 season, Development Team coach Kate Barton.
Kate brings a wealth of knowledge to the team as both a former competitor and coach, most recently at Vermont’s Middlebury College. Since 2016, Kate has been the assistant nordic coach at Middlebury, and prior to her tenure there, she was the head coach at Burke Mountain Academy for many seasons. Kate replaces former Development Team coach Bernie Nelson, who stepped down following the 2019-20 season.
“I am competitively motivated, and feel lucky to be acquiring this group from Bernie, who obviously did an incredible job of building a strong and successful team,” Kate said. “I’m excited to bring my authenticity as a person, my love for the sport of skiing, and my principled approach to coaching to the Development team. I hope to continue to collaborate with the greater ski community and to inspire and support the athletes as they pursue their goals and dreams.”
Over the past few years, Kate has worked with many athletes in regard to development projects. She has led and volunteered the National U16 Elite Camp, the U18 Scandinavian Championships, and the FIS World Junior/U23 World Championships.
“Kate brings a special blend of knowledge, experience, passion for the sport, and nurturing support and care for the athletes she encounters,” Davis U.S. Cross Country Team Program Director Chris Grover said. 
CXC Nordic Rocks Program Named Finalist for FIS SnowKidz Award:
Central Cross Country Skiing's (CXC)  Nordic Rocks Program  has been announced as one of eight global finalists for the  FIS SnowKidz Award . The SnowKidz Awards showcase the world’s top kids' snow programs, recognizing best efforts to bring youth to the snow.  ...READ MORE
Hey skiers, hope you all survived the spring on-line. Here in Vermont, we are still skiing with all the recent snow up high (of course keeping our 2 meter spacing and staying safe). Because Climate Change threatens our sport, I started teaching a new class last year Climate: past, present, future. We are offering it on-line this summer through UVM and would love to have many of you join us. Not only will you learn about how climate works, what to expect in the future, and what’s changed in the past, but you’ll get college credit and if you are in High School, having a college course like this looks great on your college applications. You don’t need to have taken lots of science to take the course - we start with the basics. It’s open to everyone, High School, College, and beyond. The class runs from July 13 to August 7 and includes not only the science of climate but the human impacts and how to understand climate denial and talk to that great uncle who discounts the science and says, who cares. I am team teaching the class with a hardcore backcountry skier - we are both active climate researchers working in New England, Greenland, and Canada so expect some great stories, photos and videos. July 13 -August 7. You can take this with or without a lab but the lab is really worth it for the discussions!

Email me at if you have any questions.

You can register at:

If you are a Vermont High School student there is great program that could let you take this class for FREE. Email me and I’ll explain.
Upcoming Events
A Look Ahead at the NENSA Calendar
U pcoming NENSA Events:
April 15- June 1: Bids open for submission for NENSA Popluar Race & Marathon Series
Stay Tuned ~ more fun virtual NENSA programing coming your way for June & July! #JuneTerm #JulySprints

Full Calendar Listing HERE