Over $300,000 raised to support Nordic skiing development efforts
The National Nordic Foundation (NNF) announced today a record level of funding for the 2013/14 season. $305,000 has been allocated to support the NNF’s Pillar Projects thanks to a combination of their grassroots fundraiser, The Drive for 25, a collection of generous donors, charity events and industry support. An increase in the size of the NNF organization and an increased focus on community involvement helped push the total dollars raised to support this level of funding. “We added support staff and lifted our goals and the result was profound,” explained Dave Knoop, director of the NNF, “This funding effort will support our pillar projects in 2014: trips, camps, and outreach that will give junior skiers more exposure to competition and training. It’s a chance to introduce more people to the healthy lifestyle of Nordic skiing and to increase our presence in the sport.”
With the funding raised, the NNF is launching the key pillar projects and reducing athlete costs. This year’s pillar projects will support 130 opportunities for athletes, including 90 high level race opportunities. The cost for an athlete heading to the U18 trip this year is $750, while costs to U23 / World Juniors and Scando cup participants is $500 for each event. ($1500 in total.) That breakdown is a tremendous boon to those trying to develop as racers.
That support is primarily due to the 1600 donors that gave to the NNF in the two-month, Drive for 25 this fall, the largest grassroots effort for American ski sport. The money raised will support both Nordic combined and cross country athletes attending the World Junior Championships, the U23 Championships, as well as OPA cup trips, additional support for US team athletes and off-season camp opportunities for promising skiers.
“This is the strength of a passionate community shining through,” explained Billy Demong, the Nordic Combined Gold medalist from the Vancouver games, a Sochi hopeful and a board member of the National Nordic Foundation, “The projects which NNF funds are the most important tiers of development for current and future success at the World Cup and Olympic level. We provide opportunity and experience for our athletes at an age appropriate level where real adaptation can occur which ensures that our best skiers will have the inspiration and tools in order to become the best in the world.”
Billy is just one of the 17 of the 19 members of the US Ski team’s Nordic and Nordic Combined teams have received NNF support in the past, including Kikkan Randall, a medal contender for the freestyle sprint event in Sochi.
hundreds of awesome athletes duke it out at Senior Nationals for XC with a lot to
be decided. We’re excited to play a part in that.”
Team selection for the U23 and World Junior Championships are
contingent on results next week in Soldier Hollow. Additionally, the NNF is
announcing two events around Nationals, a masters-focused auction of team
gear, skis and memorabilia and a presence at the Outdoor Retailer Show in Salt
Lake City later this month, highlighting the mission, outreach and healthy
lifestyle of Nordic skiing. For more information on these and other NNF
happenings, log onto nationalnordicfoundation.org.