April 9, 2021
We made it to spring everyone!!
If you had asked me in December if our club would operate an entire winter program without interruption due to COVID I would have been very skeptical. Yet, here we are. I really want to thank Silver Star Mountain Resort for doing a fantastic job keeping all of us safe, their staff safe and diligent, and maintaining the mountain like it was any other year. I also want to thank and acknowledge Wade Garrod, our Program Director, and his awesome team of coaches for also keeping our kids safe and keeping safety a priority all season long. This took persistence and patience. Excellent job team! I also want to thank you. All the parents, family members, and our athletes. Our club is a community. Communities take care of one another. It was very special to see our community look out for one another, follow protocols, and stay safe. Compassion was the unintended skill development this year and I think we nailed it.
The 20/21 season was another milestone for the Silver Star Freestyle Club. We had slightly larger membership despite having to cap programs to keep coaching cohorts smaller due to COVID. Our Fundamentalz group grew, as did our Snowboard Riders program. We had our largest Comp Team and Competition Development Team that I can recall as well. Overall our programming numbers were very strong, balanced, and in a good position for next season. We are still Canada's largest freestyle club.
Without having the ability to have competitions this season really was an opportunity to focus on training, how to train, and how to keep training fun. Again our coaches rose to the challenge. I spent some mornings following the Fundamentalz and Freestylerz groups and witnessed some crazy fun times. Lots of singing! A ton of high fives and some epic new skills. The season ending Skillz Rodeo was a highlight and absolute showcase. Cannot wait to see those kids next year.
For our older age groups not having a competition to train for can be disappointing. Digging deep and searching for the motivation can be tough. I want them to know that those feelings are normal and that they did an amazing job staying focused and keeping the program fun. I saw some of the best progression this year that I have ever seen before. Everyone should be proud of the work they put in and the progress they made this year. Most of all, they should be acknowledged for making this season fun.
Our training facilities were absolutely awesome this year. I cannot thank the resort enough for their cooperation, building and maintaining a rad park, and supporting our vision. The airsite/airbag facility was at an all time best this season. Thank you sponsors and volunteers for making that site rock. Our newly engineered jumps for the airbag allowed us to open earlier this season and keep maintenance time down. In addition, our summer work on the landing gave us more room for the airbag. We can actually train for doubles there now! For those of you who have not seen our airsite in action make sure you do so next season. It is a premier training facility and a joy to watch our kids there.
Going forward the SSFC is in a very good position. Our membership is stable, we have solid staff in place, strong financials, and a strong board. Our younger age groups are engaged and we have a good pipeline of new skiers and riders coming. The freestyle community is vibrant, inclusive, and building life-long skiers. Our competition teams are elite athletes with amazing potential and no doubt some will compete at higher levels. When I came on as president these were the goals set out by the board. This journey has been amazing. I have learned so much more than I thought I would, about myself, freestyle, youth sport, passion... the list goes on. My time as president must come to end though. I will be stepping down this fall. Now is the time for a new vision. A new set of goals and fresh set of eyes. A new incumbent has not stepped forward yet and this does trouble me somewhat. This club is an amazing thing and will give back to whoever takes on the role of president, just like it did for me. I promise.
I want to thank everyone on the board for their support and hard work all year. Special shout out to the hardest working parent volunteer of the year Torey White. This dude was a machine. A virtual hug to Teresa Hoivik who always seemed to be available for help when we needed it. One last shout out to our sponsors. If you do not know who they are then you better visit www.ssfreestyle.com and find out. Yeeesh! Last, but not least, thanks to you!!
Stay tuned. We will have SPRING AND SUMMER programming planned and posted soon. Expect some tramps, ramps, and dry slope rails!!
February 5, 2021
Hello Freestyle Families!!
I cannot believe we are already into February. I guess time flies when you are having fun.
This season opened with a lot of challenges and worry about mountain operations, parking, provincial restrictions, event cancellation, etc. However, I am very proud of our Resort and the SSFC and the resilience we have shown to make the best of it. Mother Nature has provided us with amazing conditions and our team has worked hard to put in safety protocols and planning to ensure our programs delivered yet again this year. To date we have about 240 athletes training safely. Thank you coaches, parents, and athletes for being vigilant and sticking with the COVID safety plan and provincial guidelines.
Of course we are not out of the woods yet, so we must continue our efforts and look for ways to improve our plan to keep everyone safe. Canada is in the middle of a second wave, with new variants being reported. Ski hills are making the news for outbreaks and youth sport is just hanging in there despite the increasing case loads. So what more can we do? A couple of requests have been presented to us and these will be communicated several times with the deepest hope that we can accommodate.
1. Lunch and break areas at the resort continue to be high risk areas. The size of our club and the need to break for lunch between 11am and 1pm means we monopolize a lot of space. The resort has offered to designate a lunch space in Chilcoot ballroom for the SSFC only on weekends and holidays. The request is that families use this space for lunch versus the NATC. There will be areas for bags, skis, and belongings. Room and table capacity limits will be in place as will be the other restrictions. However, with groups utilizing the barn, their residences, and Chilcoot we will reduce the volume of people in the NATC.
2. The Morning Routine: Our morning meeting spaces are running very well this season. Huge thanks to the volunteers helping out and coaches for getting things organized quickly. This routine needs to keep running smooth. Please continue to do your morning health monitoring checks, be dressed and ready to go at the start time, and practice social distancing in all areas.
These requests are not criticisms of our current performance. We have had 0 transmissions within our club. And we plan on keeping it that way. These requests are part of the need to continually work together and improve our safety plan. Thank you for cooperating.
But let's talk about some freestyle!! With Events being an unlikely reality this year, we are very training focused. As a result we have put a lot of time and volunteer sweat into building some phenomenal training facilities this year. The Air Site, mogul course, and terrain park are all in excellent shape and set up perfectly for all age groups. Not to mention the snow conditions that have given us amazing freeski terrain all over the mountain. Feel free to drop by our facilities and watch the athletes train. Or… arrange with Wade Garrod or your child's coach to be a tail-gunner for the training group. Also stay tuned as coaches start looking to run some competition simulations in the next few weeks. I encourage you to be engaged and curious about the skills your child is developing. They will surprise you!
Looking ahead our club has some plans that will require your attention. Firstly, our Club Raffle is ready to go. In February we will be getting tickets out to families to sell. This raffle is a key fundraiser for us. The prizes are amazing again this year. I know COVID presents challenges but please take this on as a responsibility. If every family sells one or two books of tickets we can raise some important funds for the club. Stay tuned for ticket assignments.
The HOT DOG MOGUL EVENT is our signature wrap up event held every March. It is where our kids showcase their newly tuned talents. This event will likely look a little different this year in order to control gatherings. However, we will host it in some fashion and make it a fun sign-off for everyone. Volunteers are always needed for this event so please watch your email for requests.
Lastly, I want to recognize everyone in the SSFC Family, athletes, parents, siblings, grandparents, coaches, volunteers, etc. for being a part of this organization. Youth sport programs provide so much for our kids beyond the actual sport, and in the current reality those peer bonds and the sharing of feelings of pride, defeat, triumph, and joy are so important.
Ryan Johnson, Club President
January 8, 2021
HAPPY NEW YEAR SSFC MEMBERS!!!!
I hope everyone had a good holiday season despite things feeling and being a little different this year. If nothing else the extra time at home was more time available to ski. And the skiing/riding was awesome this December. We are so fortunate to have Silver Star Resort so close to home.
December was a busy month for the Freestyle Club. In addition to hiring and training coaches, we prepared our Air Bag facility for operation, and kicked off programming for close to 150 kids. Thank you coaches, volunteers, and Wade Garrod for getting all the moving parts organized. From my experience this December was very well executed and with the amazing snow pack, a perfect start to the season. With some incredible volunteer, athlete, and coach support we set a club record with over 15 full days of training on our Air Bag in December. This training facility is a key progression tool for our coaches in teaching kids to jump safely. The repetition on the bag accelerates learning and will help a safe transition to jumping on snow. Stay tuned as we get set to open the Air Site in early January.
Our COVID-19 safety plan is working as designed. Our multiple zones for programs to meet keeps us less congested in the morning. In addition, our staggered lunches and finish times spread us out in the village. Kudos to coaches for keeping the safety plan front and center. I have heard lots of reminders to athletes about keeping spaced and wearing masks. This is tedious work at times but very important. Good work. Sticking to the plan for the remainder of the season will be necessary. It will require athletes, parents, coaches, and volunteers to stay vigilant and practice the safety protocols at all times. Talking about COVID-19 safety protocol and symptom checks must be a daily routine for everyone connected with the club. If you are having symptoms please stay home.
January saw the start of our Fundamentalz, and other half day programs. Close to another 100 kids learning Freestyle. Once again, thank you, to the volunteers, coaches, and Wade for getting these programs started smoothly. It is key to our safety plan that the mornings go quickly and efficiently. PLEASE NOTE THAT WE ARE STILL LOOKING FOR VOLUNTEERS TO HELP OUT EACH MORNING AND AFTERNOON TO HELP SET UP AND TAKE DOWN TENTS AND DIRECT ATHLETE TRAFFIC. PLEASE REACH OUT TO firstname.lastname@example.org IF YOU ARE ABLE TO HELP OUT.
With the club in full swing the board will start to focus on organizing our Club Raffle. Tickets will be ready for families to pick up and sell in early February with a draw date set for mid March. We typically have amazing prizes for this event which make the tickets easy to sell. This raffle is a key fundraiser for our club and requires all families to sell tickets to make it a success. Stay tuned for Raffle information coming soon.
January is shaping up to be a great month for our club. I look forward to seeing all our athletes in action and meeting their families. You can almost always find me in the mornings at the Air Site or Mogul Course if you ever want to chat, or email me at email@example.com.
Take care and have fun.
December 11, 2020
The season has begun!!
It was nice of mother nature to give us back a few days of the spring skiing we missed last season. Incredibly warm temperatures with bluebird conditions made opening weekend for the resort and the club about as easy as it could be considering the times we are in. Thank you to the volunteers and coaches that got our meeting locations and air bag prepped and ready. Nice work.
Opening weekend and the marque spot on the hill for entertainment was the SSFC Air Site. We put on an air show for two days against that blue bird back drop that was very impressive. Our newly engineered jumps proved to be worth the investment of time and money. We have very positive feedback from the athletes and coaches. Thank you SCV Contractors, Land Construction, and volunteers for making this project a reality. The Air Site is a unique and high quality aerial training facility, with rails, and we should be proud to showcase it.
The start of every season is a good time to refresh our memories on some safety rules and codes of conduct. Coaches will be re-enforcing mountain regulations and it is something parents should be reminding their kids of as well. We have received a few complaints already regarding speed on the hill and into lift line ups. It is important that all SSFC athletes respect the public. Very few people have the ability that our kids have and they are easily frightened when we are too close at the speeds we are comfortable with. Within the area of courtesy also falls politeness. It is our expectation that athletes and coaches will talk to SSMR staff, guests and fellow members politely and with respect. Even if they are not. At no time should foul language be used. Efforts put into this area are appreciated. I believe that these are life skills that our club can help re-enforce and set young people up for success in the future.
Now that programs are underway I would like put forward a couple of requests to the 200 plus families in the club.
1. Our current board of directors would like to invite anyone who is interested in being a board member in the future or just wanting to see what our board does, to shadow the Board. This is an invitation for you to attend board meetings or calls and get a feel for how the club is run. The hope and intent is to attract future board members. Most of our current board is into their 3rd year or more. I, for one, will be stepping down in November of 2021. We need new blood to step up and help lead this organization. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested.
2. Program Coordinators are needed. With the COVID-19 pre-cautions put into place our morning meeting locations are very spread out and too much for Wade Garrod to manage on his own. We are looking for parent volunteers that can help set up the meeting locations and coordinate program groups each day we are running programs. This is approximately 30 to 45 minutes of time. Please contact Teresa at email@example.com for more information or to express your interest.
COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Canada and BC Interior. New announcements and restrictions are continuing to be presented. Please know that we are very plugged in to the system and will keep our protocols up to date. Important changes to programming will be communicated via our website and coach emails. If you have any questions feel free to reach out to Wade or myself.
Take care and have fun.
Silver Star Freestyle Club
November 3, 2020
To SS Freestyle members,
For me the fall time change is pretty much the signal for us to just get on with winter. The shorter days, early darkness, and crisp mornings mean let's have some snow. At least on the hill.
For the club the time change is a reminder of how busy this month is and the importance of execution on our pre-season plan. Registration has been open since October 1st and we nearly hit capacity in all programs before October 31st. This is wonderful news and by far the earliest in the registration window we have hit capacity. Some spots are left for some programs and wait lists are in place for those currently full so if you or someone you know are still wanting to sign up please reach out to Wade Garrod or register on-line.
For those of you getting your gear prepped for the season check out Attridge Ski and Board, a SSFC Gold Sponsor, for all your needs. Our 2020/2021 Sponsor program is coming together so please help support these businesses when you can, as they are huge supporters of our club. We will be posting all our sponsors for this season before the end of the month. Take a peak and give back when you can.
November is also when we welcome our coaching team for the winter season. Wade Garrod, Hayden Person, and Tom Swiecicki are busy putting together an amazing team of coaches, arranging their training, and facilitating their onboarding so they can provide the best coaching they are capable of this season. Our mandate has been to support athletes into coaching once they have completed their competition career. This process has been very successful and we will see some new and returning faces to the coaching team this year, many who are former athletes of the program. Please take the time to introduce yourself to our coaches when you can. They are a young group but incredibly passionate about Freestyle Skiing and I know you will get excited by the energy they bring to the hill.
Facility preparation continues throughout the month of November. The weather might start getting a little chilly but we have 2 or 3 more weekends of work to go. Our main effort is to get the Air Site and Air Bag facilities completed for early season training. Currently we are building new jumps for the Air Bag. Huge thanks to Stephen and Aaron from Progression Air Bags for the design specs on the in-run, jump, and air bag landing. Also, huge thanks to Carson from SCV Waste Solutions and Brent Land from Land Construction for bringing in their machines to move earth, containers and blocks. With this work and the construction of our new jumps the Air Bag facility will be safer, capable of training a more diverse range of athletes, and hopefully open the door for some athletes to work on doubles. Yes…. I said doubles. Keep an eye open for dates we need volunteers to work on the facilities. Many hands make light work. The company is not too bad either.
The monthly update would not be complete without some information on COVID-19. It is very clear that infection rates are going up this fall and that we all need to play a part in controlling the risk. The province has put some very good guidelines in place for youth sport to Return to Sport. Also, SSMR is working hard to ensure their resort is as safe as it can be. This includes requiring our club to draft a COVID Safety Plan and follow it. The provincial guide and our SSFC COVID safety plan will be shared on the website before the season starts. We will be training our coaches on how to work with these plans to ensure compliance and overall safety. Most importantly, the plans will require each member's intentional effort to follow the safety guidelines and be mindful of others. We are a community. By looking after each other we will keep our community safe and still have a blast.
Lastly a reminder that our AGM will be on November 23, 2020. It is a 6pm virtual meeting on Zoom. The link is posted on our website. We try to keep these formalities fairly short, however, I encourage people to log on and be open if they have questions. I also would like to encourage folks to take interest in participating as a volunteer or a member of the board. The success of our club is in the passion of our parent group as much as it is the athletes and coaches. Stay tuned for more information about the AGM and opportunities to volunteer.
Take care everyone. I look forward to seeing you soon.
Silver Star Freestyle Club
October 2, 2020
Yes, fall has arrived but it looks like we are going to hold onto some sunshine for a little bit. This plays into our plans perfectly. Our outdoor trampoline sessions in Coldstream are a big hit and the facility is absolutely awesome. Huge thanks to our friends at Vernon Ski Club for getting this program off the ground and of course thanks to Wade and our coaches.
The good weather is also a blessing as we get set to schedule weekly work parties up at Silver Star. We will be taking down our dry slope rail and tramp facility and working on the Air Site to get it prepped for the Air Bag. This work needs many hands so please keep your eyes open for these work party schedules. The value in this work is that we can get into our facilities earlier in the season.
The beginning of October is also the opening of our Winter Registration. This opening was delayed to ensure our operating plan could fit with Silver Star's operating plan. We apologize for the inconvenience. However, we are open and look forward to another successful registration period. Questions about programming or registration should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
It is important to note that our club has participated in webinars, phone calls, zoom calls, and other forms of communication with Freestyle Canada, Freestyle BC, BC Snowboard, Via Sport, Silver Star Mountain Resort, and other freestyle clubs across the country to ensure that we can offer and support safe programming this winter as they pertain to COVID-19 restrictions. Our operating plan will meet or exceed provincial guidelines and will fit with Silver Star's requirements. Our coaches will be given instruction to keep us within the standards and our athlete's will be instructed and supported to embrace the standards that are in place.
As we have all seen, even the best plans to deal with COVID will change. We will post our operating plans closer to the season starting and will continue to update and re-enforce our plan throughout the season. If there are concerns or suggestions please feel free to email me at email@example.com. Safety is always our top priority.
Our club is about building life-long skiers and riders through the competitive sport of freestyle and freeskiing. Despite the challenges of 2020 I believe we are going to accomplish this goal again this year. Can't wait to see you on the slopes.
Silver Star Freestyle Club
September 11, 2020
Well…. September is here and although things feel a little different it is time for kids to head back to school. Safety will be the biggest item on the agenda for schools as they restart. Teachers, students and support staff will be practicing new ways of doing things and focusing on keeping each other safe. As new groups of people form it is important to practice all the safety protocols recommended by Health Authorities and be personally aware of your own health and any signs or symptoms of illness.
The SSFC will continue to schedule programming as long as we can confidently say we are doing so in a safe environment. Our summer programming schedule was amazing and I personally thank all the parents, athletes and coaches for attending and practicing personal safety. The tramps and rails programming in E-lot was a club first and from the smiles I have seen on kids faces and the enthusiasm I have seen from the coaches I think this facility proved to be a hit. I believe it will become a regular summer venue with opportunities to expand in future years. Thanks again to all those that help make it happen. A BIG REMINDER TO ALL MEMBERS. We will have to dismantle this facility at the end of September. This will take some volunteer effort so please keep your eyes open for requests for help. They will be posted shortly.
Water ramps was also a success this year. Despite COVID and a late start we had an excellent turn-out to our August ramp session. We have two more weekends scheduled in September (Sept 10-12 and Sept 17-19) These late season sessions are great for getting started on inverts or just going to experience ramps for the first time. For Comp and Comp Dev athletes they are great sessions for some last minute qualifying or refreshers before air bag opens up in a few months.
Fall programming is starting to come together. Air-house tramp sessions are posted and the Sports Academy programming through SD22 is in place. COVID has restricted our ability to host trampoline training to the same scope we have in the past. Indoor facility rental is very hard to find at the best of times, add COVID pre-cautions and it becomes very difficult. Please note that we are in the works of putting together another outdoor tramp facility. This venue will provide expanded tramp opportunities with a focus on the younger age groups. Stay tuned for registration dates as they will be popping up very shortly.
Moving away from programming for a bit I would like to note that we will be hosting our club AGM this fall. Your board made a decision to move our AGM from the traditional spring timing, to the fall, in order to try and get more participation and by moving it closer to the upcoming season, maybe providing some more relevant information. Please note that this meeting will be a virtual meeting. Many AGMs in 2020 have moved to this format. It poses some challenges but at the same time provides some opportunities as well. This will be a first for us but I am excited to give it a try. Stay tuned for AGM dates, agenda, and information packages.
Have a great September everyone. Stay calm and safe and keep having fun.
Ryan Johnson, Club President
August 14, 2020
Happy Summer everyone!!
Well……it took a little while to get here but we are officially feeling an Okanagan heat wave. Not only is the temperature hot but the heat is also on the Silver Star Freestyle Club as we plan for the remainder of summer programs, look ahead to some fall programming, and get super pumped for winter. (Sorry to take you there already.)
The Coronavirus has certainly made an impact on all of our lives and will make 2020 a year none of us will ever forget. The global challenges, illnesses, and ending of lives is hard to even comprehend. There were times when it was hard to imagine some of the activities and people we enjoy were ever going to return. However, what I love about challenge is we see how resilient we truly are and how we find ways to persevere. Challenges call for change and with change comes growth. We are starting to see the payback of this in all aspects of our lives as well as sport.
I would like to thank all those volunteers who helped build our Dry Slope Ramp to Rails and Tramp facility in E-lot. Without a doubt the coolest thing I have seen in a long time. Special thanks to Silver Star Mountain Resort for letting us use the space, SCV, Land Construction, DCT Trucking, Pinnacle Earthworks and Tolko for machine time and materials. This facility will become part of our future summer programming and we will continue to improve it year over year.
Another project in our sights is a Dry Slope Ramp to Air Bag facility. While this was a 2020 dream it will not come true this year. However, we are well on our way to making this a reality for 2021. Stay tuned as we continue to work with SSMR and the local community in an effort to make this happen. If anyone is interested in helping out with this project please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fall 2020 programming will look a little different this year to years past. Our fall trampoline program will be hosted in Wednesdays in Kelowna at the Airhouse training facility. Unfortunately, spaces will be limited. Due to venue constraints in Vernon and the precautionary measures necessary to operate a facility during the pandemic our normal fall tramp programming cannot happen. Please take a close look at our website for the programming that is available and watch for emails as things may change on short notice. Despite these times we will continue to move forward as best we can.
Winter programming is in the planning stages and at first glance we are hopeful that we can host all of our programs that we have in the past. Our capacity to hold close to 220 members should not be curbed nor our ability to operate the Air Bag, Air Site, Moguls, and Park training facilities. Freestyle BC is planning Timber Tour and Super Youth Events for next season. Stay tuned for that schedule to be posted at a later date.
Have a safe remainder of your summer. I look forward to seeing everyone again soon.
April 10, 2020
I hope everyone is staying healthy and safe in these interesting and challenging times. As we head into a second month of social distancing, extra-ordinary pre-cautions, and uncertainty it is important to establish some new routines and maintain social contact in new ways. Our freestyle community is here for you and we will continue to look for new ways to engage our athletes until things get back to normal.
This post would normally be a season ending send off. Some athletes would have finished in Whistler for the final Timber Tour of the year. For others the final weekend of spring skiing at Silver Star Mountain. The early end to our season has definitely been a bit of a bummer, however, we must not forget the many awesome moments we had this season. In many ways it was the best season that I have been a part of and I want to thank everyone for that.
For most of our coaches their season ended before the coronavirus pre-cautions closed the mountain and we made the decision to end remaining winter programs. However, 6 or 7 of our coaches did miss scheduled work days because of the early end to the season, as did our Program Director. Our coaches are hired as Independent Contractors and it is likely they would not qualify for Employment Insurance. In addition, most of our coaches don't have other employment at this time. With this in mind the board decided that any Silver Star Freestyle Coach that missed scheduled programming days due to the cancellation of winter programming would be paid for those days missed. In addition our Program Director will also be paid for the remainder of his contract for the season. Where possible we have scheduled coaches to complete some clean-up and spring/summer programming work. We feel this is the right decision for our club, for coach retention, coach appreciation, and coach recognition. It aligns with what most clubs in the province are trying to do and it aligns with our values and club vision. This commitment is approximately $9K.
You will be excited to know that despite our current Global situation we are still looking forward and planning for the future. At this point we have not announced or posted any Spring or Summer programming. However, I can say that we are planning the Spring and Summer season as per a normal year. This means we are putting everything in place so that if we are able to open up programming we will be ready to do so. We are also thinking outside the box to find new ways of training under the current restrictions. Stay tuned to the club's posts, website, instagram, and facebook communications as we will be keeping in touch as much as we can.
On the business side of things I am proud to report that our club will be ending its fiscal year this April 30th in very good shape. Our fundraising targets were all met, our programming numbers exceeded expectations, and our costs remained fairly close to budget considering the extra numbers. Our planning sessions last summer set a goal of putting some money aside to upgrade and expand our training facilities this summer. At this point it looks like those plans will be achievable.
Typically we hold our AGM for the club in late May. I am not sure if the board is psychic or not but we were planning to move the AGM into the fall of the calendar year in order for it to encourage more participation and improve alignment with the winter season. With the current restrictions on social gathering it looks like we are somewhat forced to make a change in the AGM anyway. So, stay tuned for the date and location of our AGM.
Your Board of Directors has agreed to stay intact until the AGM. We will announce any vacancies to the board in advance of the AGM and seek nominations for all positions at the same time. I hope everyone is healthy, safe, and staying connected.
President, Silver Star Freestyle Ski and Snowboard Club
March 6, 2020
Hey SSFreestyle members,
It is very hard to believe that some of our programs will be coming to an end this weekend. This season has flown by and what a fantastic season it was. How about all that SNOW!
The 2019/2020 season was one of our club's best ever. Not only were we over 200 members, largest club in Canada, but we improved our numbers in Fundamentalz, G-team, and snowboarders this year over last. These are key groups to ensure the passion for skiing and riding continues in our community and future Freestyle athletes are born. We are easily the most innovative, diverse, and progressive club around and we should be proud of that fact. It is so awesome to see our bibs flying around the mountain every weekend learning new tricks, techniques, and showing off to whoever will watch. I absolutely love it. If your young athlete is finishing up this weekend remember to come out and watch them during our Skillz Rodeo and Hot Dog Mogul events taking place this Saturday and Sunday. It is a time to showcase their new skills and have some fun competition with their peers. Not to mention some lunch on the mountain.
Our club, programming and culture would not be what it is without some unbelievably talented people. Our Program Director, Wade Garrod is simply awesome. His passion and creativity keeps us on our toes and constantly pushes us to make things better for our athletes. I don't have words for the effort and insight he brings to our club. Our head/lead coaches Hayden, Svin, Laura, Vernonika, Crispin and Daniel are the heartbeat of our programs. Managing 200 plus kids and over 35 coaches is a huge task. Not only do they pull it off but they bring energy and creativity to the hill every weekend. This season we saw some returning coaches and some new coaches to the programs. Many are alumni from the club. We thank you all so much for your hard work and love of the sport. We hope to see you again next season.
Oh…… and how about those volunteers!!! It was awesome to see some new faces out there helping out at the airsite, mogul course, raffle, Send it Land it Nailed, and everything else we do. Our club's success depends on the effort we put in as volunteers. So THANK YOU. Time is precious when our kids are at this age. Standing on the side of a mountain with a shovel in your hand may not be your first choice of places to be. We get it. And we appreciate it.
My string of thanks ends with our Board. Folks if you see Teresa Hoivik, Brad Swanson, Brent Land, Matthew Brown, Yvonne Fagerlund, Luke Friesen, Ian Stewart, Marcus Shallaby, or our elusive treasurer Jason Shearer please take a moment to say thanks. This group worked as a tight team this year. It was a pleasure to be amongst the enthusiasm they brought to the club and for the club. Simply a great experience.
So where do we go from here? Well the season is not completely over. We are 2/3 into the Timber Tour season and we have some past podium finishes to let you all know about very soon. We have Junior Nationals coming up in March where we have between 6 and 8 people qualify. Silver Star Mountain Resort is hosting SEISMIC Festival. (Get out and enjoy this action and participate where-ever you can) Springbreak is almost here so let's all get together and do some laps in the sunshine.
Oh and remember…..
The Silver Star Freestyle Club is more than just a ski club. We operate programs 12 months of the year within our vision of having family fun, producing life long skiers, and competitive athletes. As we move into spring and summer stay connected with our club through our website, facebook and instagram. Our community will be busy mountain biking, water ramping, tramping, or doing whatever else we can dream up. And of course we look forward to you shredding with us next season.
President, Silver Star Freestyle Ski and Snowboard Club
Well, I hope everyone had an amazing spring and summer 2019. Living and enjoying a smoke free Okanagan valley was priceless. We are so lucky to live in this part of the world.
Part of that enjoyment was watching our Silver Star Freestyle Club athletes send it at water ramp training at Covert Farms in Oliver. We ran three 3 day camps again this summer with some optional 1 day camps for those trying water ramps for the first time. Water ramps is a great progression facility for kids to take their tricks from the trampoline to a venue that is safe and where they can try their tricks with skis on. I would encourage all our athletes to talk with our coaches and to give this a try. Big shout out to all our coaches who lead these sessions and to Wade Garrod for organizing this program. We will post some videos on our Instagram account soon for everyone to see.
The start of school is an important time for everyone. Getting our kids ready for the next educational challenge, sorting out school supplies, clothes, and of course the FALL SCHEDULE! Nothing quite like the back to school schedule of transporting our kids from one "priority" to the next. The SSFC is very appreciative that one of those priorities was our Fall Trampoline program. Once again, we maxed out this fall program with athletes from ages 7 to 17. In addition, we hosted programs for the Alpine Ski Club and Maven Lane. This tramps program even took a group of over 25 to Air House in Kelowna weekly. We loaded this amazing venue with a ton of energy, talent, and superb coaching over the fall and some of the progression and flat out fun was great to see. If you have not participated in our fall tramps program please reach out to learn more. This is the safest way to learn how to tramp, get some great exercise, and learn some progression skills that you can take to the slopes.
And just like that winter is here again…..
Registration is open for our Winter Programming. Spread the word and get your family and friends to be a part of largest Freestyle club in Canada. Your Board of Directors has put a focus this season on instruction, family, and building life long skiers. This is part of our Vision and to do this we have put more resources and support to our team of coaches so they can provide the highest quality training they are capable of for our kids. In addition, we intend to create more opportunity for family members to "tail gun" our groups and share more experiences they are having on social media. We have consciously committed to hosting fewer events this year so we can focus our volunteer energy on training, team building, and creating a club environment.
If you love watching our athletes compete make sure you register for our Send It, Land It, Nailed It competition at Silver Star on family day long weekend. This will be a great comp for all our club athletes to participate in, as it brings friendly competition experience in a familiar and fun environment. And of course, we will be supporting athletes to attend the Timber Tour Events in the province. These BC Freestyle sanctioned events are available for skier aged 7 to 18 years old. The Super Youth category is designed for safe and fun competition for kids aged 7 to 12. While the Timber Tour creates a more competitive environment with provincial points attached for athletes aged 12 to 18. WE can't forget our Snowboard and Big Mountain teams either. These programs continue to grow and we have competition level athletes touring the province in these disciplines as well. Please ask Wade Garrod or any board member about these comps if you have any questions. To see the event schedule and find links to register for these events log on to www.ssfreestyle.com.
I am very excited for this season. The programming and coach plans are looking better than ever and our facilities, the SS Terrain Park, and staff are in the best state I have seen in my time with the club. I encourage everyone to drop by our training sites, create some ski time with one another, and enjoy the sport of freestyle. Keep your eye open for Volunteer opportunities as well. We need every family we can get to help with fundraising, keeping facilities operational, and putting on competitions.
See you soon on the slopes.
President, Silver Star Freestyle Ski and Snowboard Club