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Skijoring comes back to Cold Lake raising money for MS

Skijoring for MS is returning to Cold Lake this weekend with Team MS Ain’t Purdy raising money and awareness for multiple sclerosis.

Organizer James Purdy says he hasn’t slept in three weeks leading up to the event.

“Skijoring is the coolest thing you can do in the wintertime. You have a cowboy or cowgirl riding a horse with a rope wrapped on the horn and they are pulling a skier or snowboarder.”

Skijoring has its roots in Norway as the name is said to be derived from the Norwegian word skikjøring, meaning “ski driving”.

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The free-to-enter event on March 11th starts at 11:00 and will include multiple events set up like a circuit track which is a timed event through different obstacles and a sprint race which is a race to see which team can finish first.

The final event is the Big Air event which has skijorers ski toward a hill of snow and jump off of it performing tricks in hopes to receive a high score from the judges. 40 teams have registered for the multiple events. 

The event will start at 11:00 but a pancake breakfast will be available to guests before the competition starts. The AG building will also hold concessions, a beer garden, a craft show, and a market.

Purdy says last year was very successful as the team was able to raise over $20,000 dollars for the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada.

“This is Skijjoring for MS. The reason we are doing it is for the cause and we are just bringing in a pile of fun and chaos. It will be nuts.”

A donation table will be set up at the event with links and QR codes to donate online as well. All donations will be forwarded to the local MS Society of Canada, Lakeland Region. James Purdy was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis 15 years ago and got involved to help in any way he could.

“When I was diagnosed I didn’t know much about the disease and got involved with the local MS society. Over time you learn about the diseases and you learn how many people are living locally and are affected by it.”

Purdy says there is no cure.

“It affects your motor skills and affects the way your brain communicates with the rest of your body. There are a lot of things going on in our bodies and MS kind of messes with that. When your brain tells your body to move sometimes it doesn’t work. Fortunately, I have been very healthy with my MS, and one thing we have taken on as a family is to raise funds and give as much as we can for as long as we can.”

Over 15 years James Purdy and his team have raised over $700,000 for the local community for the MS society.

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