September 6, 2018
Athlete retention beyond U16 is a challenge for alpine ski teams for many reasons: athletes feel the need to prioritize school over sport in high school; some athletes are unwilling to sacrifice their participation in other activities to stay in alpine; and for many, FIS programs are simply cost-prohibitive.
Lake Louise Ski Club wants to stop the exodus from alpine programs with the introduction of a U19 program designed to allow graduating U16 athletes the opportunity to continue their development as a ski racer, while maintaining some flexibility with school and other interests.
This program will run in parallel to their U16 program for the prep season and will be individualized during the competitive season to allow the participants to participate in races appropriate for their level of skill development. This includes the chance to race in open races and local FIS races and, if interested, to cross train and compete in all mountain and ski cross competitions. Additionally, the program will be more affordable for families, with lower training costs and reduced travel load.
Athlete retention and development are the primary goals of Alberta Alpine and President Rob McCloskey is enthusiastic about the opportunity: “Lake Louise Ski Club’s new U19 program offers athletes a pathway to stay involved in alpine and ski cross racing while balancing other interests and the demands of advancing their education. I believe this new program has the potential to be a competitive and fun environment for members, promoting both high-performance athletic success as well as strong team bonding.”
“As a club, we are committed to having options within our programs to allow athletes to compete and develop to their full potential as athletes and individuals,” adds Lake Louse Ski Club Executive Director, Pierre-Luc Dumoulin.
You can learn more about the U19 opportunity by visiting the Lake Louise Ski Club.