Ski de Femme

2018 Ski de Femme Report

The 25th Ski de Femme held on Saturday had 145 women register, (Could be a record!)  so along with coaches and helpers, about 160 hardy women made it to the Nordic Bowl. The organisers did a fabulous job pulling it all together in fairly tough conditions. A great team of coaches and helpers worked really hard, putting up the tent, preparing the refreshments, taking the race entries, giving out the bibs, selecting the spot prize winners doing the presentations then packing everything up afterwards. And of course the 15 volunteer coaches were appreciated for their tips and encouragement. Helen L’Huillier who started Ski de Femme along with Jenny Van Der Ploeg generously turned up again to help!

Marg Jowitt loaded the skidoo with the equipment and food and drink at the clubhouse, drove it up to the bowl, chose and marked the course collected the markers afterwards, packed the skidoo again drove it back to the clubhouse and unpacked everything before putting the skidoo away in the shed. Amazing, seeing she hadn’t been on the machine yet this year.

The hot tea, scones and jam & cream after the instruction clinics were welcomed before the fun race, and the post race brownies supplied by BRAZEN BROWNIES at the finish line a hit! Plenty of Spot Prizes donated by local business were rewards for donning a bib and skiing or racing the 1, 2 or 4 km loop.

Special thanks to our major supporters FCRM, YMCA Cross Country Ski Centre and Brazen Brownies. Other lucky women won sport massages (Impact Massage Mt Beauty) a Sassy Road voucher, Sweet Water beer packs, Hoppet wine, coffee and treats vouchers from Wonderland EMPORIUM, the Mt Beauty Bakery and the Rose Garden Cafe.

Thanks to everyone. All in all it was a fantastic effort by our club members.
Report by Ronice Goebel — co-ordinator

Ski de Femme at Falls Creek is proudly presented annually by the Birkebeiner Nordic Ski Club.  This community event has been going since July 1994 and is run by volunteers as a day out on cross country skis for women.

Ski de Femme offers free cross country skiing instruction in small groups for both novice and intermediate skiers in a choice of classical or skating techniques. The clinics are fun and a great way for women of all abilities to learn about or improve their cross country skiing.

Enjoy yummy scones and a cup of tea, and be in the running for one of the many spot prizes including a weekend of summer house accommodation at Howmans Gap from our major sponsor YMCA.

It is free to participate in Ski de Femme. Equipment can be hired at Windy Corner from Falls Creek Nordic Hire prior to the clinic.

2018 Ski de Femme — still a tradition

Girls & Women in the 2011 Ski de Femme races


During the winter of 1993 two Swedish girls , Pernilla Grahn – 21 years and Charlotta Palmgren – 20 years (both ranked in the top fifteen in Sweden) and coach Elisabet Lamberg-Nordin (Mora Folk High School) visited Australia to expose our girls and women to elite cross country skiers through clinics, seminars and race participation. There visit was funded through the assistance from the International Ski Federation (FIS) and the Australian Sports Commissions Towards Gender Equity Program. The program was conducted on and off snow both in Victoria and NSW.

The Swedish girls and their coach made excellent role models and it was hoped that many of our Australian girls and women would follow the example set as dedicated athletes and fine sportswomen.

This visit was the catalyst for the development of annual Ski de Femme Ski Programs in later years.

(From left) Charlotta, Jenny Smith (Birkie junior) & Pernilla (1993)

Birkie’s inaugural Ski de Femme day

This was conducted on Saturday 23 July 1994 and comprised a 1.5 hour morning coaching session (100 women and girls attended) and an afternoon fun race over distances of 1, 2, and 5 km. Jenny van der Ploeg and Helen L’Huillier were the organisers of this event.

Many women & girls first experience in a XC Ski Race