March 15, 2018
The Sunshine Ski Club was founded in 1970/71 season and in its 47th year of operations still holds true to its original purpose which was to “develop racers with great attitudes”. Over the years and a few different name changes the club has settled on the name the Sunshine Speedsters and the Sunshine Alpine Racers. Great ski racers are made. Often they’re introduced to the sport of skiing at a young age and immediately develop a love of skiing. The thrill of going fast, combined with the precision of control makes ski racing an extreme sport that challenges an athletes balance, strength, endurance, and reflexes. The Sunshine Speedsters focus on developing strong skiing fundamentals while igniting a competitive spark in our NSGL and U12 athletes while the Sunshine Alpine Racers stoke that flame to truly develop the best all-around skiers on the mountain in our U14, U16 & FIS programs.
The club has had enormous support from Sunshine Village for race events and a variety of training spaces for our athletes. This season the Speedsters had the pleasure of hosting the Alberta Alpines first U12 event of the season which saw 193 athletes from 12 clubs across the province compete in both Kinder Kombi and Giant Slalom events. A dedicated army of parent volunteers ensured the race went of perfectly providing all competitors with a great course, lots of terrain, various pitches and fall-lines to challenge their abilities. The natural snow experienced at Sunshine challenged the athletes finesse and feel in a slightly more forgiving environment than man-made snow. It also helped to provide our athletes with a good home court advantage during the event with as many podium finishes as there were races. The club looks forward to hosting additional U12 races in the future.
The following weekend the Speedsters hosted the 34th addition of the annual Sunshine Invitational NGSL event. 192 athletes from 8 clubs across Southern Alberta took part over two days of fun filled competition. Once again Kinder Kombi and Giant Slalom tested the athletes, aged 5 to 10, abilities on a well prepped course. These young athletes were going so fast the first day we needed to bring in the RCMP to hand out speeding tickets for day 2. The week leading into the race brought over 80cm of fresh snow but with the determination of a strong ROC and support from the hill the event went off once again perfectly. Ski racing isn’t a team sport in the true definition of team sports, but the team culture, support and influence that individual athletes have on the team is often overlooked. The Scurfield Memorial Cup is in memory of Ralph T. Scurfield, the Calgary businessman who purchased Sunshine in 1981; it’s awarded to the ski club with the most team points over the competition. Congratulations to Winsport for taking it home for the second year in a row; however the Speedsters want it back and are gunning for you next season!
The terrain available at Sunshine is second to none in the area which is why week in and week out we always see other teams frequenting the hill. Boasting the longest regular ski season in Canada from November 9th through May 21st we will be enjoying beautiful spring skiing long after other resorts have shut their lifts down for the season. The Speedsters and Alpine Racers believe in creating well-rounded athletes through a commitment to balancing gate training with structured and unstructured free skiing. Sunshine’s diverse and varied terrain is a real asset as the athletes are exposed to daily challenges; broadening comfort zones as athletes conquer the mountain one run at a time. With the support of Sunshine Village, the clubs have put many of these athletes on podiums both locally and nationally, with several eventually representing Canada in FIS World Cup events and at the Olympics. The clubs continue to evolve and remain a strong force in youth alpine ski racing.
The sport of downhill skiing is a sport that can be enjoyed for a lifetime. For young ski racers, the skills learned through race clubs will build confidence as well as friendships. If you have ever skied at Sunshine and been passed by a group of blue coats worn by athletes with contagious smiles you have already met the Speedsters. Parents of the Speedster athletes can be found anywhere but the day lodge. No matter the skill level, there is a group of like-minded parents ready to be your new ski friends. April 22nd is Bring-A-Friend Day where any child aged 5 through 11 who can load the chair can come out for a day to experience what the Speedsters are all about. Information can be requested through: firstname.lastname@example.org. If you love skiing, come ski with us!