Idaho Masters Group heads to Italy

FasterSkierJuly 16, 2005

FAST, the Sun Valley, Idaho based Foundation for Active Sports Training, is a very active masters sports organization, and this group is not messing around. The organization has for some time been sponsoring masters ski groups in the winter, dry-land ski conditioning in the off-season, a ski trip or two, and most recently a summer-time road biking program.

We caught up with the FAST President, Jon Engen, for a quick chat recently while he was visiting Park City. So Jon, what is new in Sun Valley this year?

We have an incredibly active sports community in the Sun Valley area, so it is an inspiring place to be for those of us who like sports. Our organization, FAST, is growing both in numbers, clubs and program opportunities, so we are becoming a vital player in the local sports environment.

What type of organization is this, and who are you catering to?

We are a participation organization; we aim to provide organized sport and fitness participation and education opportunities. We are organized somewhat like a health club where you pay a fee to get access to coaches, training and organized programs. We ensure value by offering services of high standard, and create program sustainability by harnessing the activities within a tight business model. We have former champions as well as pure recreationalists, and we aim to have something fun and worth while for everyone pursuing a health and fitness lifestyle.

Since this is a forum for skiers, are there any winter projects you want to highlight?

It sure is. We have put together a primo travel package to the Masters World Cup of cross-country skiing in Brusson, Italy in the beginning of February, 2006. We have secured the best accommodations available and planned a turn-key tour package. This is a magnificent area, and everything looks promising for a great championship. Besides that, the Mont Rosa area provides some of the best nordic and alpine skiing found anywhere. We have the greatest expectations for this trip and plan to follow up on the success we had on a similar tour to Lillehammer, Norway two years ago.

Do you limit this trip to your membership, or how do you assemble the group?

Most of the participants are Sun Valley locals, but anyone is welcome to join us. Last time, we had good groups from Bozeman, MT., Salt Lake City, Minnesota, and both coasts were represented by Maine and California. We even had people from as far away as Australia. If you are interested in the trip, please contact me via email; for an information package. The group is growing and space is limited.

Is the Masters World Cup open to anyone, or how does this work?

Yes it is. We enter by country, everything is well organized, and there are no pre-qualification or athletic standards. We fully support and appreciate all of that, and guide our tour participants to the US Coordinator and through the proper entry process. We also have tour participants who are not necessarily racing hard, or participating at all. This diversity makes for great travel groups, lots of fun, interesting people and good times.

It sounds like you have your hands full, good luck with all of this. Are you saving a seat and a bed for me?

You better get you name on the list right now and start training, we could end up on the same relay team you know!

OK, I am starting as soon as I come back from my summer vacation in Norway.

Good enough. We have a deal.


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