Projects a success, checks arriving!
This spring the U.S. ski community rallied to step up its efforts to develop athletes toward international success. This began with a dialog that took place within the ski community from people all over the U.S.
At the same time the U.S. Ski Team was re-defining itself under a budget that has not kept up with the rising demands of running an elite athletic program. While the U.S. Ski Team decided to focus most of its efforts and budget on success in 2006 it also began a commitment to creating a national development system.
Four months later the first project of the National Development System is underway. This project draws from the discussion in-depth dialog between active members of the ski community.
The first project seeks to initiate a development system, which impacts our top-tier development-level athletes. In conjunction with this we will use the system to create partnerships with development clubs that will enhance and expand their programs. This will simultaneously provide opportunities for athletes from other programs to plug into the development-level projects they are managing in conjunction with our current U.S. Ski Team program.
This project works by selecting clubs who are training top athletes and inviting those athletes and their coaches to attend U.S. Ski Team projects. The coaches are financially supported at these projects by the U.S. Ski Team. This alleviates that club’s budget while involving their athletes and coaches in top training and racing opportunities.
So far there are five programs participating in this National Development System project. Among them are the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation, Northern Michigan University, Burke Mountain Academy, Maine Winter Sports Center and the Central Cross-Country Division. These programs are attending one or more of the following events:
USST July Camp July 13 to 27
New Zealand Camp July 27 to August 21
Lake Placid Camp Sept 12 to Sept 25
USST Oct Camp Oct 3 to Oct 25
Fairbanks Camp Oct 27 to Nov 14
West Yellowstone Camp Nov 21 to Nov 29
Canada World Cup Dec 8 to Dec 19
Midwest Super Tour Jan 16 to Feb 6
OPA Cup Feb 28 to Mar 21
Checks from the U.S. Ski Team have arrived with those programs participating in the earlier events.
So far we have had athletes and coaches attend the July Camp in Park City, the New Zealand Camp and the Lake Placid Camp. We are currently at the Lake Placid camp and will have a number of athletes in attendance. Actually â€œguestâ€ athletes outnumber national team athletes, and our coaching staff is doubled.
So far other programs have also benefited by this program as the larger coaching staff has been able to accommodate more athletes. We have had athletes from the Maine Winter Sports Club, Durango and Collbran Colorado, Bridger Ski Education Foundation, Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation, and Burke Mountain Academy.
We are expecting athletes from the Central Region (both CXC and unaffiliated athletes), Alaska, a number of eastern programs, The Subaru / Salomon Factory team, the Fischer / Swix (FSx)Team, as well as a few other unaffiliated athletes at our upcoming events.
This NDS project is only our first. There is a plan in the works for full build out in the very near future. As always input is welcome: