To the Staff of CSFEP,
Thanks again for your assistance as we organize what will surely be one of the most enriching development experiences our athletes will have. I hope the below paragraph expresses how grateful we are as a community for these youth experiences – I’m very happy to shorten or elaborate if it might be helpful to the program in any way! Our athletes do a great job during the exchange to promote their activities on social media, and I’m afraid the words below do not do justice to the joy that is clearly reflected in those Instagram posts.
We cannot thank Exchanges Canada enough for what has become an annual tradition and rite of passage for our athletes at Nakkertok Nordic. Fifteen years ago our first group of young teens participated in an exchange program with a cross country ski club in Whitehorse, delivered by Canada Sports Friendship Exchange Program (CSFEP). The experience was so rewarding, that we organized another exchange the very next year, and now 15 years later we find that relationships developed in that first exchange have endured, as those athletes – now coaches – help to organize exchanges for the next generation. We have observed that for many athletes, this is the first time in their lives that they have had the opportunity to live as part of another Canadian community, and the exchange gives them a chance to develop independence, leadership, and pride in their hometown as they organize experiences for their ‘twins.’ Beyond the relationships formed between the exchange ‘twins’, team bonds are strengthened and deepened due to the shared experience brought by this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The exchange has been such a positive and high-impact experience for our young athletes, that when they become adults it is no surprise that they want to give back and help organize future exchanges. Thank you for providing a program that builds community and gives youth an experience they will never forget!
Melissa (and Christy and Christiane, on behalf of Nakkertok Nordic)