T2 FOUNDATION/U.S. SKI TEAM ATHLETES ANDY NEWELL AND JESSIE DIGGINS TALK SKIING, FITNESS AND OLYMPICS WITH YMCA SUMMER CAMP KIDS IN BROOKLYN
Brooklyn, New York – As the world gears for the summer Olympic games in London, T2 Foundation and U.S. Ski Team members Jessie Diggins and Andy Newell met with YMCA campers to talk about what it takes to be a world-class athlete, the importance of fitness and the meaning of team spirit, while introducing kids to cross-country skiing.
The event was organized by the T2 Foundation, a non-profit committed to supporting elite athletes and inspiring youth, SIA, the trade association for snow sports, which is interested in promoting all aspects of cross-country skiing and the YMCA, which is committed to nurturing the potential of kids, promoting healthy living and fostering a sense of social responsibility.
Over 140 campers age 7-12 took part in the event.
Before learning a series of exercises Jessie and Andy use in their everyday training, like critter crawls and various types of bounding with ski poles, the group gathered for a talk about being a World Cup athlete and Olympian. They watched a video of the athletes racing this winter and they got a show and tell of cross-country equipment. The crowd went wild when Andy strapped on his roller skis and raced around the indoor track.
“Go around the track, go around the track!” they chanted.
“The event was a total success. The kids loved meeting Andy and Jessie and having the chance to interact with them. Hopefully, the kids will be inspired and carry the experience with them,” Marina Knight, Director of the T2 Foundation said.
“It was super exciting to show a sport like cross-country skiing to some kids, who probably hadn’t seen much skiing before or participated in many winter sports activities,” Newell said.
“Even though most of the kids hadn’t heard of skiing before or tried it, they were eager to try out new equipment and learn ski walking and bounding, as well as be active and try out new exercises,” Diggins added.
One of the goals at the outset of the event was to keep the kids moving for about 30 minutes, to get them to experience the endurance side of the sport.
“I was stoked with the energy of the kids. Children that age love to run around and play games. I think it was fun for them to see what cross-country skiing was. The look on their faces when they saw how fast the roller skis could go on the track was pretty classic. They where psyched. Whether they were into cross-country skiing or not though, I think it was beneficial for them to hang out with some Olympians and get some exercises,” he added.
“I hope they take away the idea that anything is possible as long as you set high goals and work hard. When I meet with kids, the message I try to get across is to stay active every day, even if it’s just playing outside go get some exercise and have some fun,” Newell said.
“I hope that we were able to inspire the kids to keep on being active, and to remember the more you practice sports, the better you get and the more fun it is,” Diggins said.
About the T2 Foundation
At the T2 Foundation, we believe in the power of sport.
Our mission is to help America’s elite skiers reach their dreams, and to connect the athletes we support with youth around the country. In doing so, we aim to spark inspiration in the lives of young people, and instill qualities the pursuit of sport builds.
The T2 Foundation supports athletes competing in Olympic snow sports, including alpine, Nordic and freestyle skiing.
Founded in 2006, the T2 Foundation has provided financial support to over 40 different athletes, helping them achieve their dreams. Those athletes have given back to the ski and youth communities as positive role models, sparking inspiration in kids.
The T2 Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit organization.
About the YMCA of Greater New York
The YMCA of Greater New York is, and always will be, dedicated to building healthy, confident, connected and secure children, adults, families and communities. With a focus on youth development, healthy living and social responsibility, the Y nurtures the potential of every youth and teen, improves New York City’s health and well-being and provides opportunities to give back and support neighbors. In scores of neighborhoods across the five boroughs and its camp upstate, the Y makes accessible the support and opportunities that empower more than 400,000 New Yorkers to learn, grow and thrive. Visit ymcanyc.org.
Alex Kochon (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the former managing editor at FasterSkier. She spent seven years with FS from 2011-2018, and has been writing, editing, and skiing ever since. She's making a cameo in 2020.