Revelstoke Ski Club president Richard Smith is happy to report team skier Dominic Unterberger will split time with the Revelstoke Ski Club and the B.C. Ski Team this season – the first local representative on the provincial team in about 15 years.
It’s part of a steady competitive progression experiences over the past few seasons.
“We’ve had some really good momentum there,” Smith said. “He’s inspiring for everybody.” He added the FIS racers Cole Smith, Jamie Park and Emily Unterberger are getting top 10 results in races.
Smith previewed the season ahead.
The team had a record of about 100 athletes last year and are hoping to top that. Mitch Smith and Max Scharf are heading to the Rising Stars camp in the Okanagan. The program grooms young talent.
“The thing that’s really helped us is the ski hill has been really helpful with the club, and generous – such as giving us the venue for having the [Snowflake Wine Festival],” Smith said. “They’ve helped us grow a lot by contributing to the club financially and on the hill.”
He’s looking forward to building the partnership this year. “[New RMR general manager] Rob Elliot’s been a long-time Revelstoke person that understands ski racing,” Smith said. “We’re looking forward to working with him.”
Ned Lazarevic has returned as Head Coach and Milan Arsovski is the FIS coach. Other coaching staff are Donald Hall, U14 coach; Christina Lustenberger, guest coach; Rich McCrae-Lauba, U12 coach; Carter Berton, Nancy Greene program; Todd Lenzi, professional development, NG program; Matt Kieller, All Mountain Program; Adrian Bernava, Greg Ahearn, Andrea Lustenberger, Dean Prunkle, Darrell Musseau, Caitlin Fullerton, all Nancy Green coaches.
Smith said the world-class ski hill attracts great coaching staff. He said the U-10 and Nancy Greene are “cheaper than daycare.”
“We used to have a lot of coach changes every year,” Smith said. “Now they come and they want to stay and keep coming back.”
Recently-retired young skiers Eric Schwenck, Richie Smith and Adrian Bernava will be returning to do some coaching at Christmas.
The club has also drawn lots of racers and members from the Shuswap area – Smith is from Salmon Arm himself.
The club has made some equipment improvements on the hill. They’ve bought a new Brower timing unit that improves their ability to time practice races. Club member Lou Bernava built four small storage sheds on the mountain allowing the club to leave equipment like gates on mountain, meaning they don’t need to be hauled around every day.
The club is hosting two races at RMR this year. On Jan. 20 they will host a Nancy Greene race. On April 13–14 the club will host the Okanagan zone finals for racers aged 18 and under.
There are a few programs designed for those interested in getting young racers into the program. They’re hosting a $99 three-day camp at Christmas for any 12 and under non-club members interested in trying it out.
Smith said it’s not as expensive as you think. “The best used, cheapest equipment is used race equipment,” he said. “It usually sells for about 10 cents on the dollar after it’s a year old. You can do it at an inexpensive rate for a long time.”
Smith sees a steady progression towards a more competitive club. In five to 10 years he’s hopeful that two or three racers will make the Canadian team.
The other goal is to foster an organization that’s a club in the true sense of the word. “We’d really like to have a sense of club membership as a ski club, not just because your kids race there,” he said. “We’re starting to get that and it’s working out real well.”
The 2012–13 executive are: Richard Smith, club president; Rob Sidjak, vice-president; Julia Jackson, treasurer; Karyn Molder, secretary; Erich Unterberger, alpine director; Mary Clayton, sponsorship, awards and media; Sally Carmichael & Darrel Musseua; Ted Allain, equipment director; Cam Molder, U14–U18 program director; Margaret Scharf, race treasurer; Christl Unterberger & Caroline Grenier, volunteer coordinators; Sonia Cinelli, fundraising coordinator; Todd Lenzi, van coordinator; Ted Allain, webmaster; Stephane Beck, technical support.