Tradition, Success, Excellence, Pride

Team Hardwood Celebrates 27 years in 2023!

Founding Coach, Jack Sasseville named to the Canadian Ski Hall of Fame in 2023!

We take Pride in Team Hardwood’s Tradition of Success and Excellence

Tradition – we have a long and successful Cross Country skiing Tradition at Team Hardwood. Great teams and great skiers have contributed to that Tradition. Each new team builds on that Tradition.

Success – Our success at all levels, from local to international is a testimony not only to the hard work of our skiers and coaches but also to the degree to which they have come to believe that they can succeed. We aspire to be one of the most successful teams in Ontario and Canada. Our coaches and skiers are dedicated to pursuing the highest and best standards of training and performance for cross country skiing.

Success is being better than you used to be.

Excellence is committing to trying as hard as you can to be as good as you can be at everything in your life, including skiing.

Team – Concern for the Team comes before concern for ourselves. The spirit of the Team is something created by every one of us, every day. Team spirit is created by the way we handle the biggest, most important moments and the smallest details. Our Team is a community based on mutual respect and friendship. We celebrate the individual accomplishments of every member of the Team at every level of ability. Every member of the Team from the fastest to the slowest should feel the support and encouragement of the entire team whether he/she succeeds or fails.

Pride – We are humble in defeat and even more humble in victory. We carry ourselves with CLASS at all times. We will be known for being respectful in public and protect the reputation of our Team at all times. If we do this, we can take PRIDE in our accomplishments knowing that the satisfaction of what we achieve will last long after our competitive days are over and serve as an inspiration for others who come after us.


  • In the winter of 1995-96 one lone skier – Luke Myles was the only member of Team
  • In the fall of 1996 Team Hardwood officially formed with 28 athletes, mostly high school
  • In 1998 Team Hardwood attended it’s 1st Junior Nationals at Val Cartier, Quebec. Luke
    Myles, Ryan Seigel, and Ian MacLeod won the 1st ever medal in the Challenge Boys relay.
  • In 1999 Team Hardwood finished 5th overall at Junior National Championships in
    Smithers, BC
  • In 2002 the team was 1st ranked junior team and 2nd ranked overall at the Canadian
    Championships in Mont Ste Anne
  • In 2016 the Team Hardwood was ranked 3rd overall at Ski Nationals in Thunder Bay.
  • In the early 2000’s the Team Hardwood won five (5) Ontario Club Championships in a row.
  • Team Hardwood has consistently been one of the top three (3) clubs in Ontario and one of the top 10 clubs in Canada.
  • In 2019 and 2023 Team Hardwood won the Ontario Team relay and sprint championships
  • In 2019-20, 2021-22 and 2022-23 Team Hardwood finished 3rd in the OCup club final standing.
  • Skiers who have won medals at National championships include Stephen Hart, Stephen
    Lowry, Anna Geiger-Whitlock, Luke Myles, Ryan Seigel, Ian MacLeod, Alana Thomas,
    Jordan Cascagnette, Bob Thompson, Scott Hill, Nic Monette, Ryan Jackson, Jenn Jackson,
    Finn Dodgson, Bella Howden, Madi Fraser, Joey Foster, Lenny Valjas, Mary Thompson,
    Erin Tribe, Harry Seaton, Theo Ochrym
  • Skiers who qualified for National Training Centers – Jordan Cascagnette, Bob Thompson,
    Stephen Hart, Alana Thomas, Scott Hill, Lenny Valjas, Joey Foster, Jenn
    Jackson, Ryan Jackson, Nic Monette, Erin Tribe, Harry Seaton, and Theo Ochrym
  • Lenny Valjas spent 10 seasons on the National Team including 2 Olympic Winter Games (2014 and 2018) finishing seventh in PyeongChang in the Individual Sprint
  • Scott Hill qualified for World Junior, U23, World Sr championships, and World Cup races
  • Jenn Jackson qualified for World Jr and U23 champs and World Cup races
  • Alana Thomas qualified for World Cup races
  • Ryan Jackson qualified for 2 World Jr champs
  • Joey Foster qualified for World Cup races and NST Next Gen Team
  • Bob Thompson qualified for World Cup races
  • Jordan Cascagnette qualified for World Jr and FISU champs
  • Alec MacLean qualified for FISU champs
  • Coach Mark Doble was NTDC head coach for 2 seasons after coaching at Team Hardwood
  • Team Hardwood finished 2nd overall on the Ocup in 2021-22
  • Theo Ochrym won a medal at Nationals in 2022 and was named to a training centre for 2022-23
  • Coach Mark Doble was NTDC head coach for 2 seasons after coaching at Team
  • Other skiers went on to coach at the club and district level including Jordan Cascagnette at Highlands Nordic, Jessica Roach at Nickel Plate Nordic and Sovereign Lake Nordic, and Madi Fraser and Finn Dodgson as SOD district coaches
  • Founding coach Jack Sasseville has been coaching for 48years, 13 years with the National Team. He is a 4x Olympic Team coach and attended 5 other Olympics as the TV analyst for XC skiing, Biathlon and Nordic Combined.
  • Founding coach Jack Sasseville was named to the Canadian Ski Hall of Fame in 2023.

    “Skiing is fun, racing is fun, training is fun, success is fun.” This has been the motto of Team Hardwood since the beginning.

    “We ski best at the end”. At the end of intervals, at the end of practice, at the end of races, at the most important races of the year. Skiing best at the end requires perseverance
    and mental toughness.

Team Standards and Policies

  1. Be on time. Arrive 10-15 minutes early enough so that you can be ready to train at the
    start time of the workout. Being late shows a lack of respect for your team, your
    teammates and the coaches. GET A WATCH!
  2. Attendance is not mandatory, however, the more workouts you attend the better you
    will become.
    Excellence in cross country skiing is about consistency and is more than
    just training. You need great technique, mental and tactical skills. The coaches cannot
    help you to improve in any of these areas if you are not at practice. A missed day of
    training will take you 2 days to catch up. The team is relying on you to be there.
  3. Respect the Team – the team is everything. Contribute rather than participate. Give
    more than you take. Everyone has a place where they can contribute to helping others.
    Ski and race for the team and each other. Be happy when others succeed, help them
    when they fail. Hold your teammates accountable and be accountable to them. You will
    get back much more than you give.
    We will create a Tradition of making a Team Statement as often as we can. We will
    warm-up and cool-down together at training sessions and as much as possible at races.
    We stay on our feet at the finish. Team members stay to support skiers in later races
    and for awards.
  4. No one ever got fitter or faster standing around talking. Unless injured or otherwise
    instructed, we NEVER stop during a workout. Always finish what you start, including all
    warm-ups and cool-downs from start to finish. We never stop because stopping is giving
    up and giving up becomes a habit just as surely as success does.
  5. HTFU – suffering and pain is a part of xc skiing. Embrace the suffering, embrace the
    suck! Share the suffering with your teammates. You always have 20% more to give – live
    in the 20%. But it is not the pain that slows you down and hold you back, it is your
    perception of the pain. If you think it takes too much effort or that it is impossible then
    you will slow down. No whining, complaining or excuses!
  6. We ski best at the end! In training, in races and at the end of the season at the
    important races. While others are slowing down, giving up or stopping we are powering
    through to the finish. It is at the end of training sessions where we get the most fitness,
    hone our technique when we are tired and become mentally stronger. It is at the end of
    races where we succeed.
  7. Strive for Excellence – excellence takes discipline, dedication, love of what you are
    doing, accountability, honesty, humility, responsibility, truth (to yourself and your
    teammates and your coaches) and faith. The process is the goal.
  8. Drinking any alcoholic beverage, smoking or the use of any controlled substance at any
    time on trips or at races is grounds for dismissal from the team.
  9. We believe in the concept of Safe Sport and follow Safe Sport guidelines at all times
  10. Skiers and coaches will follow all rules and guidelines set out by Nordiq Canada and XCSO.