Female athletes to take over COE | ParkRecord.com

Female athletes to take over COE

The Fast and Female camp returns to Park City on Sunday, Oct. 4, at the USSA Center of Excellence. More than 150 girls will join a host of Olympic athletes to learn leadership and team-building skills, listen to inspirational messages, dance, do crafts and sport-related activities and snag autographs from the athlete ambassadors.

U.S. cross-country skier Liz Stephen, one of the many athlete ambassadors coming to the Park City event, said she’s been thrilled with how much the camp has grown over the years.

"Five years ago, we had 80 girls and last year we had about 160 to 180," she said. "This year, we have it capped at 150, but it’s basically impossible to turn girls away, so there’s a good chance we’ll go over that."

Stephen said the popularity of the Park City camp can be partially attributed to the Center of Excellence and all it has to offer, but at the end of the day, she said it’s about the participants making the most of it.

"It’s a cool building," she said. "But some of the coolest things are the relationships and the experiences the girls have with the ambassadors and among themselves. [It’s successful] mostly because it has such a big impact on the girls who end up coming."

Stephen added that it’s not hard to get athletes to participate as ambassadors, either. This year’s crew includes local athletes Emily Cook, Maddy Olsen, Abby Hughes, Rosie Brennan and Shannon Bahrke, among others.

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"It’s a lot of fun for the ambassadors," Stephen said. "Every year, when I put the poster up in the COE, it’s astoundingly easy to get ambassadors. They want to be part of this event. Even newbies on the team know this event is awesome."

In addition to the girls’ camp, a simultaneous parents’ clinic will also be held on Sunday. Stephen said parents will learn about athlete nutrition, the dangers of over-coaching, psychological well-being and more.

"The parents want to learn how to best facilitate their girl’s experience in sport," she said. "It’s good to know how to talk to your athlete."

Stephen said she’s planning on a big turnout on Oct. 4 and hopes everyone who participates enjoys their experience.

"It’s a lot of work," she said. "But it’s worth every minute of it."

Registration is now open for the camp. The cost is $30 for the girls’ camp and $25 for the parent seminar. To register, or for more information, visit http://www.fastandfemale.com .