Junior (Jr) Devo
Ages: 9-13


This competitive group was developed for athletes interested in training, attending local races and participating in the Ontario Youth Championships (13 years old and younger).

The athletes are introduced to training and racing technique, developing physical strength, balance and flexibility to support their technique and educational sport components such as self-responsibility, nutrition, equipment maintenance (waxing) and goal setting. Jr DEVO provides an immersive “Learning to Train’ experience (see Nordiq Canada). Throughout the season, athletes will participate in games which enhance various attributes needed to ski well, specific dryland and on-snow drills and activities, low key competitions of various kinds and lots of skiing! The object is to learn while having fun.


Participation in the fall Saturday/Sunday dry land training is required for these athletes and is included in the registration fee. 

Completion of Jackrabbit levels or LEAD coach's assessment is required for participation, based on skill (beginning of weight shift, balance on skis, good offset, beginning of 1 and 2 skate) and physical capacity development (can “keep up” with group or desire to improve and be part of the team and displays a positive attitude in line with T.E.A.M. values). If athletes have not completed Jackrabbit programs, they will automatically be placed in a pre-Jr Devo group until skills are adequate to take part in the full program. This will take place within the Jr Devo practices.

Our basic belief is T.E.A.M. (Together Everyone Achieves More). We start and finish our practices together, so everyone needs to be ready to be active when practice starts.


  • Early season (dryland): Sat 9:59am To 12pm starts September 11 / ends: October 23.
  • Later season (dryland and on-snow): Sat & Sun 9:59am To 12pm starts October 30; on-snow practices start when snow permits, usually the first weekend of December until the first weekend of March Break.
  • *There will be a one-day holiday camp during Christmas break (Date TBD)

Athlete Program & Equipment Requirements

  • Roller ski poles
  • Striding/dryland ski poles to be purchased. Typically 5-10 cm shorter than classsic poles.
  • Helmet, reflective clothing, gloves
  • Wristwatch with stopwatch/timer functions
  • Water bottle and carrier
  • Access to appropriate skate and Classic skis (owned or leased)
  • Access to early season rock skis (Crown & Skate)
  • Skate and classic poles (length suggested by coach)
  • Combi boots
  • Blue non fluoro glide wax
  • Athlete Season Goals

Fees (Please review Athlete Equipment Requirements)

$800.00* (Price increases by $25 on July 17)
*Registrants in the HTB competition teams (Cross Country & Biathlon) and Junior Development must purchase a season pass from Highlands Nordic.

Not included in program fee:

  • Season trail pass 
  • Training Camps
  • Travel and accommodation to events
  • Race entry fees
  • Race license (Discuss with coach)
  • Coaching & Waxing fees for larger events on cost recovery

Race Performance Objectives

  • Introduce the qualities (technical, physical, mental) that lead to sustainable performance and consistent improvement. These are measurable.
  • Introduce reflection on performance-training/recovery, racing, etc.
  • Bi-weekly, low key, appropriate length time trials or similar activities.
  • Selected paraffin races

Appropriate team challenges-for example, Muskoka Loppet (athletes, parents, coaches)


Children at this level should be involved in other activities as well as skiing so they can develop as competent athletes. By the end of the Jr Devo program, they should be physically literate (possess both fundamental movement skills and fundamental sport skills). See Canadian Sport for Life/Long Term Athlete Development for details and reference material. 

Overall objectives/goals

After completing Jr Devo, at the end of grade 8 (12 or 13 yrs old), the skier will have excellent ski technique (posture, balance, rhythm, kick) in all classic and skate techniques.