SSCV announces community-based events for 2021-2022 winter season

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SSCV’s community-based events give children a pressure-free entrance to the world of snowsports.
SSCV/Courtesy photo

Ski and Snowboard Club Vail unveiled the 2021-2022 rendition of their three community-based snow sports series this week: The Steadman Clinic Vail Cup, The SSCV Nordic Town Series, and SSCV Family Fun Days on Golden Peak. The first of the events takes place at the Vail Nordic Center on Wednesday.

The Steadman Clinic Vail Cup has been fostering a love of ski racing since 1963.
SSCV/Courtesy photo.

“It’s fun and family-oriented,” Sharon Schmidt, Director of Advancement at Ski and Snowboard Club Vail said about the non-sanctioned events which are open to the public.

“It’s a really great introduction to competition for children who live in the community or are visiting for one weekend or two weekends.”



Both the Steadman Clinic Vail Cup and SSCV Family Fun Days are complimentary, though participants will need a day pass or season pass for Vail Resorts. For the Nordic events, it is $5 to race the one and three-kilometer races and $10 for the five-kilometer events. The Vail Cup is only open to athletes with a year of birth 2006 or younger, while Family Fun Days and the Nordic Town Series are geared for the whole family. While many area athletes will register for an entire series, participants can select any combination of events, as long as they register within 24 hours of the start time.

Schmidt said that the Vail Cup, which has 58-year tradition in the area, is about giving kids a pressure-free chance to enjoy a fun competition on a mountain, wear a real bib, and feel what it’s like to emulate the stars they see on television.



More than 100 people gather at the base of Golden Peak on Sunday, March 18, for the final Steadman Clinic Vail Cup of 2018. The Vail Cup returns again in 2021-2022.
Geoff Mintz/SSCV

“I think it’s really important that children have the opportunity in a complimentary, fun, no-pressure setting to dabble a little bit on what it feels like to get into a start gate, to know how a mogul competition feels like,” Schmidt said.

“I think at that age, children are very extrinsically motivated. Is it fun? Are they with their friends? Are they out in the snow playing? So, this is just a great opportunity to ignite a little bit of that interest and that little bit of spark for those who may not be involved in the program at all.”

The event captures the club’s vision, “providing the level of quality commensurate to the needs and goals of all our athletes, so they can become the best they can be.” More than simply fostering the competitive genes inherent in SSCV members, it showcases the broader lifelong-love-of-ski culture embedded in the core of the valley as a whole.

“It’s all about introducing the visitors and community to something that really goes to the essence of what Vail is all about and may spark a passion for people that aren’t members to try it further,” Schmidt articulated.

“The community that we live in is so important to us.”

Schmidt understands that one fun day on the slopes won’t necessarily result in a child registering with SSCV, but that isn’t really the point anyway.

“It’s very important to us with these community-based events to share with the rest of the community the lessons learned — what happens both on and off the snow — and develop a lifelong love for the sport,” Schmidt said about the purpose for the series, which she says is more about connecting with the whole community.

“And so, anything we can do to interact with our greater community and introduce them to elements of what’s important to us is very special.”

The Vision of the Vail Cup

In 1963, the newly formed Ski Club Vail hosted its first Rocky Mountain Ski Association race, and from that, the Vail Cup was born. Still going strong 58 years later, it never dropped it’s kid-centered goal, highlighting many of the programs offered by SSCV.

“And it may turn out that some of those children actually join (SSCV), but it may simply spark a passion to be out there, promote a healthy lifestyle and a healthy, lifelong love of the sport,” Schmidt said.

In making the events as accessible as possible, SSCV is grateful to its supporters for helping to cover the entry cost.

“We can’t do what we do with these events without our sponsors,” said Schmidt.

Steadman Clinic, Alpine Bank, Discover Vail, Beck Building Company, Groove Auto, Fortius Capital and Arrigoni Woods are all sponsors for the events, which are returning to normalcy after COVID-induced alterations in 2020.

“We are just really excited to be able to re-introduce this to the community,” Schmidt said when asked if anything was new for 2021-2022. Mental health, perceptions of a safe environment, and the usual culture of camaraderie typically experienced in youth sports all took a hit during the pandemic as events were canceled or altered considerably. Schmidt sees a void which the community series will meet, particularly coming out of COVID.

“We’ve seen such an explosion of passion for snow sports and membership for our club, so to be able to bring this series forward and have it be available to all children in the community and children visiting is really special,” she said.

“We are so proud to be a part of the Vail Valley community and give back to that.”

 

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