Rhinelander Nordic Ski Team adds paintball to new middle school programSubmitted: 03/04/2015
RHINELANDER - Some coaches found a unique way to keep kids attention while teaching them to Nordic ski: paintball.

The Rhinelander Nordic Ski Team is giving middle school students the chance to have fun in the outdoors while learning the sport.

"Really really fun," said sixth grader Lily Eternicka. "I was on my toes the whole day waiting for it."

"They have a ball," Rhinelander Nordic Ski Coach Jim Wood said. "They're a unique group that they have a lot of energy when they get out of school. You can teach them about 15 minutes of technique, then you have to keep it fun."

"It's a tough sport to come out and ski and ski hard, climb hills, learn technique," Wood said. "So if you mix something in like go ski a lap and then you get to shoot a paintball guns at targets, it just adds a lot of fun to it."

Paintball isn't an easy sport.

"Well, where they hold the paintballs, it kind of slides down your shoulder and it's really tough to get it right," said Eternicka.

Coach Wood sees Nordic skiing as another opportunity for students to enjoy the winter in the Northwoods.

"Encourage other kids, other youth, to come out to the sport to see that we're out in the weather," Wood said. "It's winter, it's snowing. Come out and ski. Join the ski team and just come out and have fun."

His skiers are already encouraging their friends to come out.

"That they should come out and really do it 'cause it is super fun and you get to do something fun and active," said Eternicka.

Story By: Nolan Blair

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