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Sask. ski coaches rollerblade more than 70 km to try to keep girls in the sport

Morgan Waldo and her fellow SaSki Sisters ski coaches rollerbladed from Moose Jaw to Regina on Saturday to raise money for their program. Justin Bukoski / Global News

Morgan Waldo has seen it time and time again — talented girls leave ski racing.

To try to break a vicious circle where they don’t have other girls to train with or compete against, Waldo, a coach with the Regina Alpine Ski Club and a former member of the Alberta ski team, got together with other female ski coaches in Saskatchewan started an all-girls’ ski camp called SaSki Sisters a few years back.

On Saturday, Waldo and fellow SaSki Sisters coaches Naomi Ottenbreit and Heather Sten traversed the 70-kilometre stretch of Highway 1 from Moose Jaw to Regina in rollerblades to raise money for their program, in hopes of creating a scholarship to subsidize ski trips for participants who stick with it.

“We’re trying to empower them through community and sport,” said Waldo, who stopped on the side of the road 46 kilometres into the inline skating adventure to speak with Global News.

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SaSki Sisters brings together young talent from all five of the province’s ski clubs to create a network of up-and-coming female racers.

“Girls drop out of sport generally around that 14 years age,” said Waldo, adding that the drop out rate is about two times that of boys.

“If they stick with SaSki Sisters up through graduation, we want to subsidize a trip for them in April of that year so that they continue wit the sport.”

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Going into their fundraiser, the SaSki Sisters coaches had raked in about $3,000 for their cause.

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And in a spinoff benefit, rollerblading is a great parallel to ski racing, Waldo added.

Waldo, Ottenbreit, Sten and their entourage travel along Highway 1 Saturday morning. Justin Bukoski / Global News

– With files from Connor O’Donovan and Justin Bukoski

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