Whitewater racers take on Rossland's Red
The Whitewater Ski Team got off to a spectacular and sunny start with the Rio Tinto Alcan Nancy Greene Ski League race at Red Mountain this past weekend.
Fourteen teams came together from across the zone, with three of those teams from Whitewater. More than 160 athletes ranging in ages four to 14 raced two runs each on a dual giant slalom course.
Each athlete races as part of a team with the kids in U12 and U14 receiving awards for the fastest times.
Top scores for U12 racers from Whitewater included Troy Bellman (10th), Yael Oosthuizen (4th), Alex Murray (17th), Sophie Hickson (24th), Gretchen Lewandowski (30th), Soleil Lyon (25th), Zarah Murray (18th) and Stella Cortez (47th).
BC Alpine recently changed its age levels to a format similar to soccer with racers grouped by age categories, U6, U8, U10, U12 and U14. Kids in the U14 category now have the option of moving up to a provincial level of racing or staying in the Nancy Greene program. The goal is to keep more kids in the program longer to better meet their interests and skill development.
“It’s working,” said ski team president Tracy Punchard. “It used to be that most of our new recruits were seven or eight-years-old. This year quite a few nine, ten, 11, and 12-year-olds joined the team for the first time. These are kids who have been skiing for a few years with mom and dad and are ready to ramp it up a notch.
“It’s fabulous time to join. They get to ski with their peers and their skill level improves at an incredible rate. Everyone wins.”
Punchard points out that at Whitewater, the age categories are really just for registration purposes. Regardless of a child’s age, they will find the team that he or she wants to be in and should be in.
“We do everything we can to make sure each child is having fun on the snow and becoming a better skier,” Punchard said That is one reason why our club has remained so successful.”
Forty kids show up every Saturday morning to train with Whitewater’s entry level, Nancy Greene ski league. Races are held throughout the season on Sundays.
The next race will take place at Salmo on February 3. For more information go to whitewaterskiteam.ca