Growth in our Masters Program

With almost 270 Masters skiers in our Masters XC Program alone, it is impossible not to call this whole thing a gigantic success. It is so exciting to see so much growth in this program, a program that started just 4 short years ago with 20 participants. It would not be possible without the amazing dedication of our coaches and the organizing team. Our Master HP group, maxed at 30 participants is ready to grow for next season and had some amazing success stories this winter harvesting medals at local, National and International competitions.

This program is starting to draw in national and international attention with skiers from all over the place wanting to move here and join in the fun. We’re not joking…this is really a thing. They love skiing at Sovereign so much they are willing to move across the country or to another country in some cases. It is already happening!

Have an amazing summer everyone and we look forward to seeing you out on the trails in the offseason.

CANSI Courses a HUGE Success

The Canadian Association of Nordic Ski Instructors (CANSI) hosted two instructor courses this past weekend at Sovereign Lake training 20 new CANSI Level 1 and 2 Instructors. These instructors are taking part in our Masters Ski Programs as well as with our Ski School for teaching lessons to members and the general public. Congrats to all our successful candidates.

CCBC On Snow Camp a huge success!

SLNC is proud of the efforts put forth November 8-11th to ensure that 95 of our up and coming BC athletes and 20 of the provinces coaches had the best possible skiing conditions, a warm lodge and ski storage capabilities despite what nature threw at us.

The camp ended with fitter, albeit a little tired, but extremely happy athletes.  Special thanks to our grooming team and new staff members for keeping the facility going prior to our official opening.

It’s with a sense of pride that I am happy to belong to the Sovereign family but in the larger scope, we all belong to the XC Family which is what makes this sport so awesome!

Eric de Nys (SLNC Programs Director / CCBC Fall On-Snow Camp Leader)

2019 BC Teck Midget Championships record attendance in Vernon

In a day of age where marketing, cell phones and screen time are winning the attention of our youth, it was incredible to see over 250 young inspired athletes come out to enjoy a sport they love so much.  Combine these athletes with the crowds cheering and volunteers in full force, Sovereign Lake Nordic Centre was bursting at its seams Feb 16-17th, 2019.
This cross country skiing event is very special and is different from most. It caters to youth ages 9-12 and encompasses a day of 2km classic races followed by a hilarious costume team relay, where glitter, wigs and moustaches on little people run wild, and another day of several dozen  300m skate sprint races. On Saturday evening the entire Priest Valley gymnasium filled up for the event banquet which included not only a delicious taco bar, prizes, and awards, but added entertainment from a local favourite band playing the hit “Veganism”. The kids got to let loose after a day of fitness and fun, dance and get a little wild. They look forward to this event year after year and it is the pinnacle of fun and friendly competition during the ski season. Families, coaches, friends and neighbours come far and wide from across BC and Washington State to partake in the spectacle.
Countless lifetime memories are created at these events. Canadian National ski team athlete Julien Locke was there training, watching and handing out awards, and mentioned, BC Midget Championships was his “first ever provincial race”, “a pretty big day for me”. That coming from an elite Canadian athlete who won 1st place in the US national championships this year means a lot for the significance of these events.
I must say that Saturday’s weather at the event was gorgeous, making it very easy and inviting to have fun in the elements. Sunday, the mercury dropped and, in spite of this,  the large group of kids racing, parents and volunteers came together in community spirit to warm up the day. Smiles were everywhere, the chalets fireplaces were stoked, fresh hot soup and beverages were in abundance.

Sovereign Lake Nordic Centre is a world-renowned cross country ski facility for all to enjoy, just 25 minutes from downtown Vernon.  Cross country skiing and Youth ski programs have seen growing attendance and popularity this year. Many of our youth and parents are seeing the value and benefits of this healthy lifestyle that cross country skiing promotes. We encourage you to come out for some fresh air and fitness with us.

Submitted by  Damian Pighin (SLNC Track Attack Lead Coach)

Sovereign Lake Nordic Ski Club to host 2020 Canadian Cross Country Ski Championships

PRESS RELEASE: September 27, 2018

Cross Country Ski de fond Canada’s Events Committee is pleased to announce the Sovereign Lake Nordic Ski Club in Vernon, B.C. will play host to the 2020 Canadian Ski Championships in March 2020.
“Sovereign Lake Nordic has played a critical role in providing Canadian cross-country skiers access to snow early in the season as the anchor to our NorAm program,” said Dave Dyer, CCC’s events director. “It was time we finished the season off in the same style as we have become accustomed to every December by going back to the Vernon region for our national championships.”
Dyer added the Selection Committee was especially impressed with the evolution of the leadership group and dedicated staff at Sovereign Lake Nordic.
The premier event on the 2020 domestic race calendar will fall immediately after the World Cup Finals in Canmore, Alta., March 20, 2020.
Homologated in 2005 to meet FIS standards in preparation for the return of the FIS World Cup to Canada, the trails at Sovereign Lake will provide a variety of options for both senior and junior skiers at the 94th running of the Canadian Ski Championships event.
“SLNC last hosted the Canadian Ski Championships in 1995 making the 2020 Nationals Campaign the 25th Anniversary of that event. An annual stop on the Haywood NorAm circuit each December, hosting other world-class events such as the 2005 World Cup and 2011 World Masters Championships, SLNC is poised to once again welcome our country’s top athletes during these eight days of racing,” said Pat Pearce, Chair of the Bid Committee. “The Organizing Committee is excited to get to work on its tasks to host the 2020 Canadian Ski National Championships.”
Located just 22 km from downtown Vernon, and 50 minutes from Kelowna International Airport, at an elevation of 1667m, Sovereign Lake Nordic Club and Silver Star Mountain Resort together provide over 105km of daily groomed Nordic ski trails. Its high elevation, moderate winter temperatures, world-class grooming, and outstanding early and late season ski conditions provide some of the best cross-country skiing in the world.
SLNC is the largest not-for-profit ski club in North America, founded in 1974, with backcountry skiing roots dating back to the early 1930’s. With over 1850 members and a thriving Youth and Master’s program of over 340, Sovereign operates a full-service facility with night skiing, large rental/retail shop and tuning services. We host over 29,000 visitors annually and offer a busy S’Cool Ski Program for more than 1700 local children across three school districts.
The 2019 Canadian Ski Championships will be held at the Nakkertok Nordic Centre, March 13 – 20, 2019. A two-day pursuit will lead off an action-packed week of domestic racing prior to the World Cup Finals slated for Quebec City.

2018/19 Programs Registration OPEN!

While we are in the heat of summer we never really stop dreaming about snowy days at Sovereign Lake. 2018/19 Program Registrations are now open. There are many new and exciting program options for this season so have a read through the program details and let us know if you have any questions prior to registering.

  • Youth Programs:
    • Bunnies
    • JackRabbits
    • Track Attack
    • Junior Development Team
    • Junior Biathlon Team
    • WinterFit
    • Academy
  • Adult Programs:
    • U35’s
    • Masters
    • Masters High Performance
    • Masters Biathlon

Join us today!

Website Programs Link:

Zone4 Registration Page:

Contact our Programs Director Eric de Nys for more information at [email protected]

SLNC Wins BIG at BC Championships!

Congratulations to the full SLNC race team of over 60 participants that took part in this past weekend’s BC Championships at Telemark Ski Club in West Kelowna. With a  record 628 athletes registered for the three days of racing, Sovereign was able to secure some key podium positions in addition to numerous overall aggregate championship awards.

A HUGE CONGRATS to each and every participant this weekend!!!! A special shout-out to all of the helpers, coaches, and parents for keeping the team prepared. Below are all the Top 5 placements from this past weekend with links to the full results.

Day#1 Mass Start: (Full Results)

  • 4th Place Atom Boys Chase Pighin
  • 3rd Place Atom Girls Linnaea Heidt
  • 2nd Place Junior Boys Ian Oliphant
  • 1st Place Junior Women Hannah Mehain
  • 3rd Place Masters Men 30-39 Kevin O’Connor
  • 2nd Place Masters 50-59 Paul Hardy
  • 1st Place Masters Women 60-69 Maureen Clement
  • 1st Place Masters Men 60-69 Gerry Brenemen

Day#2 Individual Start Classic (Full Results)

  • 1st Place Atom Girls Emily Lane
  • 3rd Place Atom Girls Shayla Flanagan
  • 4th Place Atom Girls Linnaea Heidt
  • 1st Place PeeWee Boys Simon Heidt
  • 5th Place PeeWee Girls Eula Palmer Bird
  • 4th Place Juvenile Boys Lucas Sadesky
  • 5th Place Junior Boys Ian Oliphant
  • 1st Place Junior Women Hannah Mehain
  • 4th Place Open Women Marta Green
  • 5th Place Open Men Andrew Casey
  • 2nd Place Masters Men 30-39 Kevin O’Connor
  • 1st Place Masters Women 50-59 Josee LeClerc
  • 4th Place Masters Men 50-59 Paul Hardy
  • 5th Place Masters Men 50-59 Bob Boorman
  • 1st Place Masters Men 60-69 Gerry Brenemen

Day#3 Team Relays (Full Results)

  • 5th Place PeeWee Girls Sovereign Sweeties (Emily Lane/Linnaea Heidt/Shayla Flanagan)
  • 4th Place Midget Boys Megabots (Pedar Ree/Parker Munroe/Evan Sadesky)
  • 5th Place Junior Women Rainbow Unicorns (Paige Latta/Madison Land/Clara Hardy)

Aggregate Awards are presented to the best overall athletes throughout the season at CCBC sanctioned events per category. Consistency in these results are key to success is aggregate awards. Great job team! Special shout out to Paul Hardy, JD Coach and Dad for slaying it in the Master’s category. 

2018 CCBC Aggregate Award Recipients:

  • 1st Place Junior Girl  Paige Latta
  • 1st Place Juvenile Boys Lucas Sadesky
  • 3rd Place Juvenile Boys Torin Andrews
  • 1st Place Junior Boys Ian Oliphant
  • 3rd Place Masters 50-59 Paul Hardy

2018 Club Championships Award

The Club Championship Awards are presented by calculating club participation at CCBC Sanctioned events throughout the winter including Regional (Okanagan Cup) and Provincial Cup (BC Cup) Series events. For the first time in 7 years, Sovereign Lake has moved into the TOP 3, taking a whopping 2nd Place!! Do you think we can beat Larch Hills next year??? We will need to recruit a few more kids into Programs. Great work by our Programs Director Eric de Nys and all of our coaches for getting your kids involved in racing this winter.

  1. Larch Hills Nordic Society (114 points)
  2. Sovereign Lake Nordic Club (63 points)
  3. Telemark Nordic Club (55 points)
  4. Revelstoke Nordic Ski Club (45 points)
  5. Hollyburn Cross Country Ski Club (42 points)


January 19 – 21 saw 11 Sovereign Lake athletes and a couple of masters take to the Riverbend Golf Course for a weekend of intense cross-country ski competition at the Haywood Western Canadians in Red Deer, Alberta.

Red Deer is preparing to host the Canada Winter Games in 2019 so this was a means to get some preparation in for their organizing committee and race crew.  The weather was pretty decent for cross-country skiing but a lack of snow challenged the facility.  They managed to rob snow from the golf course and pack and groom it into the short courses that created an exciting spectator venue for sprint and distance races.

Day 1 saw Classic Sprints dominate the day. 

 Paige Latta leading the start of a sprint heat with her famous power starts.

All 11 racers Qualified to race in the heats which is a great accomplishment at this level of competition.

Junior Girls started us off with a fast and technical 800M course.  Clara Hardy, Hannah Stocker, and Madison Land qualified to the quarter heats but didn’t get past that round.

Paige Latta won her first quarter heat and came second in her semi sending her to the A final.  She took the early lead in the final heat but was boxed out in a tight corner and finished 5th overall.

Ian Oliphant, Junior Boys 800M race was fast and exciting.  He placed within the top two in all of his heats advancing him to the A Final where his textbook technique took him to a Gold medal.

Ian Oliphant pushing hard on the left in his Team BC suit. 

Charlie Hiam, visiting from Australia, joined the SLNC crew and was thrilled to qualify in his first Western Canadians event.

Torin Andrews and Lucas Sadesky also skied the 800M course in the Juvenile boys category both qualified but didn’t advance past their quarter heats.

Midget Boys had a fast 300M course and Pedar Ree dominated every heat taking Gold.  Parker Munroe just missed making it into the semis but was pleased with his efforts.

Sierra Munroe placed 7th in the Min Midget Girls category for that day.


Day 2 brought on Classic Distance competition.

The Junior Girls and Boys took 3 laps of a 3.3km course creating a 10km distance.  Paige Latta just missed the podium and took 4th.  Clara Hardy, Hannah Stocker and Madison Land had strong performances keeping them in the middle of the pack.

Ian  Oliphant was leading the race but took a bit of a stumble in his third lap and wound up 7th.  Charlie Hiam was near the end of the pack but was happy to not be the last racer into the stadium.

Juvenile Boys had a 5km race with two laps of a 2.5km course.

Torin Andrews took Gold and Lucas Sadesky Silver for their efforts.

Midget Boys also skied the same 5km distance and Pedar Ree and Parker Munroe had respectable placings in this large group.

Sierra Munroe completed 3km and place 9th in the Mini Midget Girls.

 Parker Munroe skating into the stadium.

Day 3 Split the Competitors into teams of 3 for a Skate Relay race.  Athletes were grouped by province for a showdown of sorts.

Junior Boys started the day with a 3×3.3km course and Ian Oliphant was on the BC Machine team.  They took the Gold.

Charlie Hiam raced with a mixed group including a Juvenile skier and took 9th.

Junior Girls had our 4 spread out.  Paige Latta was placed on the BC Twisted Sisters team and anchored them to a Gold podium finish.

Clara, Hannah, and Madison all did super work in supporting their teams.

Juvenile Boys  Lucas Sadesky and Torin Andrews teamed up with a third BC Athlete on Team Avalanche and took 4th.

Midget Boys skied 3 x 3km and Pedar Ree’s Team Heavy Duty won Bronze.  Parker Munroe raced up in the Juvenile category and had a great experience racing with the older skiers on a longer course.

Sierra Munroe’s team of the BC Ice Pirates finished the day on a 3 x 3km ski placing 1st.

Master skiers Paul Hardy and Chris Andrews skied a 10km course and both placed 6th in their age groups.  Chris said it was a fun and fast ski.

The next events for SLNC racing will be the Okanagan Cup in Kamloops Sunday, January 28th.  Ian Oliphant and Paige Latta will be heading to Ottawa January 31st – February 4th for Eastern Canadians and some of the JD athletes will travel to Prince George for BC Cup#2.

SLNC Welcomes Eric de Nys as new Programs Director

August 20, 2017

With a focus on delivering a full roster of programming from Bunny Rabbits and Biathlon to Ski Academy and Masters,  Eric brings new collaborative vision to the delivery of Programming at Sovereign Lake Nordic Club.

Eric hails from the city of Prince George where he raced as a junior at Caledonia Ski Club, racing at the World Junior Championships in 1994, and becoming a medallist at both the Canada Winter Games and Canadian National Championships. Following the path of coaching once his race career ended, Eric has spent his entire adult working life immersed in Nordic sports – first as a successful athlete followed subsequently by diving into coaching and athlete development at Foothills Nordic Club based in Calgary, AB. Driven to continue on the coaching path, he enrolled in the National Coaching Institute in Calgary. Two subsequent coaching jobs with Alberta development teams led Eric to an 8 year term with Cross Country Canada as the Senior Women’s World Cup Head Coach and Assistant Head Coach on the Men’s World Cup team. As Head Coach, he lead athletes at numerous World U23 and Junior Championships, World Cups, and 2 Olympic Games. Following the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games, Eric was released from Cross Country Canada following funding cutbacks.

Biathlon Canada, based in Canmore, hired Eric soon after his CCC tenure as the new High Performance Technical Director to lead the Senior World Cup Team to success at the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Games.  It was here that Eric held a supervisory role in the administration, long term strategizing, and planning of Biathlon World Cup Team. The world of high performance coaching at the National level is a challenging one. With Biathlon Canada also facing funding cutbacks the position was terminated effective May of 2017.

Eric offers long term vision, and a unified approach with exceptional technical, administrative, and leadership skills. As the new Programs Director, the position caters to the requirements of Programs by providing full time year round training opportunities and assists the club in the creation of short and long term targets to grow all facets of Club Programs to create a true “full service” model.  Eric will be moving his family to Vernon and will commence work with the club and athletes on September 5th. Please join us in welcoming Eric and his family to the Okanagan!