$75,000 Awarded to local winter sports athletes
Record distribution from Stein Eriksen Opportunity Endowment
The Stein Eriksen Youth Sports Alliance (YSA) Opportunity Endowment awarded a record $75,000 this fall to Junior Athletes training with YSA winter sports teams and local participants in Get Out & Play/ACTiV8, YSA’s after school sports program. This represents an increase of 30% over 2015/16 spending. $42,000 in need-based training funds were granted to 57 athletes competing for YSAs winter sports teams. 210 scholarships, representing an additional $35,000 in scholarship spending, were awarded to economically disadvantaged elementary and middle school students participating in YSA’s after-school programs.
The Endowment provides local youth with need-based scholarships to help alleviate training, equipment and travel expenses as well as underwrite fee-waivers for participants in YSA’s Get Out & Play, and ACTiV8 after school learn-to sports programs. The endowment reached its initial $2 million goal this summer after a two-year fundraising campaign. Contributions can still be made to the fund at http://www.ysaparkcity.org
Jim Gaddis, Chairman of the Endowment Committee recounted, “Stein once said to me that if you can take a loss the same way you take a victory, then you have what it takes to be a champion. Stein’s legacy to our community is giving kids the chance to learn the important lessons of sport and pursue their dreams. The Endowment fund helps ensure that Stein Eriksen’s legacy to the community is fulfilled — a promise to provide Park City’s youth with financial support to chase their dreams.”
Travel funding is a critical part of Endowment spending. Early Qualifying events for the 2018 Olympics are already underway. Nearly 40 alumni of YSA’s nine winter sports teams were named to 2017 Team USA in several different winter sport disciplines, including several who have benefitted from YSA scholarship funding. Several more hopefuls continue to train with YSA teams.
18 alumni from local programs competed in the 2014 Winter Olympics winning five medals, including one receiving training funds from the Youth Sports Alliance. If Park City were a competing as its own country in the Sochi games, it would have tied with France, Austria and Poland for ninth place in the medal standings.
The Youth Sports Alliance supports winter sport activities for youth in Summit and Wasatch counties, promoting good sportsmanship and healthy lifestyles through participation, education and competition. Our children learn about commitment, respect and hard work. The Alliance raises funds for its nine affiliated sports teams and runs the Get Out & Play after school program. YSA Member teams include: Figure Skating Club of Park City, Park City Ice Miners, Park City Ski Team, Park City Speed Skating Club, Summit Ski Team, Team Park City United, Utah Olympic Sports Clubs (Fly Freestyle, Park City Nordic Ski Club, G-Force Bobsled & Skeleton), Wasatch Freestyle Foundation and Wasatch Luge Club.
Stein Eriksen was a Park City skiing legend having won the gold medal in the giant slalom in the 1952 Winter Olympics for his native Norway. Eriksen worked as Director of Skiing at Deer Valley Resort from its opening in 1981. Previously, he worked as Director of Ski School at Park City Ski Resort, now Park City Mountain Resort. He is the namesake of the Stein Eriksen Lodge in Deer Valley.
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