Liz Stephen hopes local event will teach competition and people skills | ParkRecord.com

Liz Stephen hopes local event will teach competition and people skills

Upcoming Champ Camp introduces girls to dozens of sports

This Sunday, Fast and Female, a nonprofit with a mission to empower girls through sports, will host its annual Champ Camp at U.S. Ski and Snowboard's Center of Excellence.

There are several high-profile competitors scheduled to attend to demonstrate their sport, including Olympic crosscountry skier and Park City resident Liz Stephen.

Stephen said sports have helped her be more confident, which is one goal of the camp, but she said it has also helped her become more understanding and diplomatic. She said she hopes that's one thing sports can teach the next generation of athletes.

"I feel lucky that I love the people on our team — we are really a unique, special group — but it hasn't always been that way," she said of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard team. "We've had to work really hard to make sure we are acting as teammates, even when another is driving you up the wall."

She said in sports, athletes are often paired up – in teams or with training partners – who they didn't necessarily choose. Learning to see things from their perspective is important.

"I think that extends to how the world should, in this time, listen to people that don't have the same opinion as you, and … accept that someone else might believe that," she said.

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Also, talking to people with very different backgrounds during international competitions has helped Stephen see not only different cultural views, but different training methods and techniques.

"We travel to Europe in November and we don't come home until March, so we have to make friends," she said. "But I think going to these camps with athletes from other countries… that's how you learn. You try and find what works for you."

At the Champ Camp, where Stephen expects to see more than 100 girls from ages 8 to 18, she said she hopes to see future athletes, and in turn, future ambassadors.

For more information on the Champ Camp, go to FastandFemale.com/Programs. The camp will run from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Sunday.