Ski Club Teaches Life Skills
Physical education and a healthy lifestyle fosters self-confidence through recreational and competitive sport activitiesTo many, Mount Washington Ski Club is the epitome of alpine ski racing. In the past 29 years the Club has built a reputation for training that extends beyond the borders of British Columbia.
But what if you don’t want to race? The Club is still a great place to learn the sport without the competition, says Head Coach John Trimmer. “It’s an opportunity to learn in a fun team environment that accepts and challenges (skiers),” he said.
The Club starts its young skiers with the Nancy Greene Ski League, for five- to 10-year-olds. The philosophy of the Nancy Greene program is to encourage participation, interaction and the development of technical skills in an exciting and motivating atmosphere without the pressures of intense competition.
“Progression through a quality program like the Nancy Greene Ski League gives them the skills to reach new heights,” he said.
Mount Washington Ski Club has a competitive and a non-competitive stream, Trimmer said. “Children as young as four can join our Club and start learning the proper techniques and physical literacy that will allow them to become great all-mountain skies in all terrain and snow conditions.”
When kids turn 11 years old, the Ski Club’s program splits to a competitive racing stream (Kinder 1 and 2 and Junior) and non-competitive stream called All Mountain Skiers (AMS).
The All Mountain Skiers program helps kids set clear goals for skill development with ski instruction from certified coaches. The program runs Sundays for 14 weeks from January until April, and included a two-day ski camp and coaching on a two-day field trip to Mt. Cain.
In addition, families with children in the All Mountain Skiers program are allowed to use the Club’s cabin, which includes a full kitchen, and participate in club socials.
There are other reasons to enroll your children in the Mount Washington Ski Club, says Trimmer, not the least of which is promoting a healthy lifestyle.
“Children who are physically educated feel confident,” he said. “They are encouraged to build confidence and skills through competitive and recreational sport activity. They will enjoy overall health benefits by developing greater physical literacy, which encourages them to be more physically active throughout their lives.”
Increased activity, he added, reverses the current trends in childhood and adult obesity and cardiovascular disease.
Children enrolled in ski club programs learn ski safety, co-operation, independence, listening skills, goal setting, self-confidence, group learning and task-focused activities. “And it’s fun,” he said.
Racers in the Mount Washington Ski Club had the opportunity to train abroad in October, when Head Coach John Trimmer took a handful of them to Austria.
Trimmer has taken club members to a ski academy atop a glacier in Austria in the past, and this year was the same, with an added bonus, a side trip to a World Cup event in Solden, Austria.
Trimmer took eight skiers to Austria for some early-season training, because there is no snow at that time in Canadian mountains. “It’s an opportunity for a few more days on snow.”
Trimmer has never been able to line up the trip with a World Cup event in the past, so this trip was especially exciting. “So many of the top athletes come from that area,” he said.
While World Cup alpine events at Lake Louise in Alberta may draw 3,000 spectators, a similar event in Austria draws much more and creates a different kind of excitement.
“The day we were there, there were 14,000 people,” Trimmer said. “It would be kind of like going to the Olympic hockey game here. It’s quite amazing.”
For more information on the Mount Washington Ski Club visit their website: http://mtwashington.bcalpineclub.ca and browse the links for various programs.
For information on the All Mountain Skiers program, please e-mail co-ordinator Jane Pegg at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.