June 11, 2020
Banff, AB — From the Desk of Dave Lawson, Alpine Chair, Sunshine Alpine Racers.
Our Program Director and Head Coach, Jim Read, has decided it is time to move on to the next step in his storied skiing career. I am sure that this has not been an easy decision for Jim. Anyone who has had the pleasure to spend time with him knows how much he cares about our club and our sport.
After a long and successful career on the World Cup with the Canadian Alpine Ski Team and on the U.S. Pro Ski Tour, Jim came home and started coaching with the Sunshine Ski Club/Sunshine Alpine Racers in 1998. Over those 22 years Jim developed his own philosophies and vision for how to coach ski racing and how to build a ski racing club. Jim has been passionate about that vision and about helping every athlete, and every coach, that has been part of the club over those 22 years. At the heart of Jim’s approach to ski racing is that an athlete must first be a great skier and only then can they be a great ski racer.
When he was asked to reflect on his time with the club, Jim shared the following words in his own humble, caring and wise style:
“First and foremost, I would like to thank all the volunteer members of the Sunshine Ski Club currently and over the past 22 seasons. There are far too many to mention individually and without all of them there would be no club. It has been an incredible journey that I will cherish for the rest of my days. From humble beginnings as a day rate coach I quickly realized that overall skiing skills had to be the foundation that was set first. If we wanted to produce good ski racers we needed to become good skiers. Over the years the club has helped many athletes advance to the Provincial and National teams but most importantly when an athlete moves on from their ski racing career they have a strong passion for the sport of skiing. The time is right for me to step down and have the next generation of coaches take over. We have a very strong foundation in place from Speedsters right through to SARS and I am confident it will be a seamless transition. It will be good to have some new youthful ideas and direction going forward, while keeping our Sunshine culture in place. We are all very proud of the club that we have built. I wish everyone all the best. The club is in good hands.”
We can all learn from the way Jim approaches training and racing. He watches with intensity and is thoughtful about every word and piece of feedback. When he has it exactly figured out he explains things with passion, energy and in ways that show athletes what to do, how to do it, and what it will feel like when they get it right. He is quiet, and humble, but at the same time he commands the utmost of respect within our ski racing community.
Jim Read has built our ski club into something we can be proud of at Sunshine and other clubs can be envious of. Along the way there have been many phenomenal ski racers that have emerged from under Jim’s careful molding. At the same time, there have been hundreds of athletes that enjoyed the sport, have grown up into respectful productive members of society, and they all still love to rip it all over the mountain on a big snow day!
Jim’s leadership will be deeply missed. Please join me in thanking Jim and wishing him all of the best of success in his next chapter!