Evolve targets locals
Sewing the seeds for the next generation of Canada’s ski and snowboard cross athletes, the Evolve ski and snowboard club is currently preparing for another season, and aims to attract more Bow Valley athletes to the slopes.
While Olympic silver medallist Mike Robertson has left the club to pursue an education (he still plans to return for the odd guest coach session), the club is in good shape and eagerly anticipating another successful season of ski and snowboard camps. They plan to hold large camps in early 2013.
“Last year was a huge success. Our ski camp focused on K1 and K2 athletes and we had over 100 athletes. Our snowboard weekend had about 70 athletes a day. The kids are really excited and the hill was excited,” said club president Adam Robertson.
Lake Louise ski hill will once again construct a ski cross course, as will Nakiska. Nakiska will host the first top-level ski cross race in Western Canada since the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games. The races will take place, Dec. 6-8. It will be the second Canadian stop for the World Cup circuit, behind Blue Mountain near Collingwood, Ont.
The Evolve club has already begun dry-land training and hits up an evening of gymnastics training in Calgary once a week.
“It gives the kids some more air awareness for their flips, and helps when they translate that to snow,” Robertson said.
His goal this year is to attract more Bow Valley athletes. Fewer competitive skiers and snowboarders are emerging from Banff and Canmore, however, ski and snowboard cross offers them a relatively new avenue into the racing community. With role models like Mike Robertson and ski cross World Cup racer Tristan Tafel to look up to, there’s plenty of proof the area can produce elite alpine athletes.
“We’d like to drum up some more interest in the sport. With ski cross we’ve run development camps that are surprisingly successful. With snowboard cross, we’re struggling to draw athletes. It doesn’t have the same grassroots programs to draw from as ski cross,” Robertson said.
Based out of Lake Louise, Evolve will have several on-hill events, and will travel to western snowboard cross competitions, including a NorAm cup race. There are competitions for youth and young adults.
“With ski cross, we’ll have a bigger focus on Alberta, and travel to Whistler and Big White,” Robertson said.
For more information, visit www.evolvesnow.ca
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