The principal of an Alberta First Nation school is singing the praises of a cross country skiing program expanded this week by retired Olympian Beckie Scott.

Tsuut’ina First Nation High School students

Tsuut’ina First Nation High School were given to a chance to cross country ski, some for the first time. ( Evelyne Asselin/CBC)

"We want them to become the best learners they can and part of that is being physically active," said Jeff Horvath, principal at Tsuut'ina First Nation High School.

"We want healthy young people in our communities and cross country skiing being one of the best exercises you can do, I think it will only benefit our young people."

Jeff Horvath, Tsuut’ina First Nation High School principal

Jeff Horvath, Tsuut’ina First Nation High School principal, says the program will benefit young people. (Evelyne Asselin/CBC)

This week two-time Olympic cross country ski medallist Beckie Scott brought the Ski Fit North Alberta program to the school, the 18th one to sign up for the program.

Ski Fit North Alberta brings cross country skiing equipment to aboriginal schools across the province. The program was developed by Cross Country Canada and Cross Country Alberta and receives corporate sponsorship.

Scott says the list of benefits is lengthy.

Beckie Scott

Two-time Olympic cross country ski medallist Beckie Scott says Ski Fit North Alberta program is great for physical literacy and mental wellness. (CBC)

"We know there is so much in the way of health benefits in terms of physical literacy and mental wellness when you engage kids in sport," she said.

"And cross country skiing is one of the best sports there is."

A Grade 5 student is enjoying skiing for the first time.

Raven Crane

Grade 5 student Raven Crane skied for the first time this week. She said it's fun. (CBC)

"It was good but I fell a lot, but I just got back up," Raven Crane said.

"It's fun."

That's music to the ears of Scott.

"Most importantly though, we just want the kids to have fun and enjoy sport in a really supportive environment," Scott said.

Ski Fit North Alberta

Ski Fit North Alberta has been brought to 18 schools across the province. (Evelyne Asselin/CBC)

Meanwhile, Horvath is hoping some of those smiles could lead to a podium visit.

"The smiles we have had over the last couple of days have been fantastic and we got some keen students," the principal said.

"We are going to develop some trails and get these guys on an Olympic team in a few years."