US Ski and Snowboard to host its first ‘Girls Mini-Camp’ at Woodward Park City
Growing up, Parkite Kate Anderson wished she had opportunities like the one coming to the snowy mountain town this weekend.
U.S. Ski & Snowboard and Woodward Park City are partnering for the first ‘Girls Mini-Camp,’ scheduled to begin on Friday, March 6 and conclude on Saturday, March 7.
“On a personal side, the whole reasoning of the event is something I really care about. … Getting girls into sports, especially in Park City, is something we can’t do enough of,” said Anderson, U.S. Ski and Snowboard senior manager of sport and athletes. “I wish there were more opportunities like this when I was growing up. In a way I’m almost selfishly doing something I wanted to do, so now with having the opportunity to do so, I’m going to make it happen.”
The camp is scheduled to begin on Friday at 5:30 p.m. at the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Center of Excellence. The two-hour camp that night will focus primarily on developing certain skills that can be translated to the snow — they will develop air awareness and acrobatic skills on the trampoline at the CoE. Dinner will be provided.
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The mini-campers will then have the opportunity to put those newfound skills to the test on the snow when they begin Saturday at Woodward Park City from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Breakfast will be provided.
“The ultimate goal is to really show girls in the community that there is a pathway for them to learn these types of skills in a situation where it’s not as intimidating as being with boys,” Anderson said. “Girls drop out of sports about one and a half to two times more than boys, which as a former athlete is a concerning reason. … I’m going to do my part to combat that. They don’t have to necessary be elite level with the skills they learn, but they don’t have to drop out of sports altogether, just want them to continue with it.”
Helping provide further truth of what women in sport can accomplish, Anderson has a multitude of U.S. Ski and Snowboard female athletes and coaches scheduled to participate and help out the campers.
The athletes participating are moguls skiers Morgan Schild, Olivia Giaccio and Avital Shimko, snowboard slopestylist Jade Thurgood and freeski slopestyilst Darian Stevens. Schild and Stevens are both 2018 Winter Olympians, who finished 15th and 17th respectively.
Nichole Mason, U.S. Snowboard team coach, will also be in attendance to help instruct the campers.
“It was honestly the easiest part of the whole things was getting everyone to join and help out. … Every coach and athlete I talked to was all about this event and couldn’t wait to help out,” Anderson said. “They’ve all faced the same struggles of being a woman in this world so they want to make a difference any chance they get. Stevens told me how important this was to her and said that she was in, no questions or anything, so she would make it happen.”
Anderson’s role as an International Olympic Committee leader helped spur this camp into existence. After thinking about this concept over the past few years with friends and colleagues, she applied for the community project and got it approved.
There are only 20 spots available for the first-time camp, which have already begun filling up fast. Originally for girls between 12-18 years old, Anderson decided not top put a cap on the age limit because the demand is there and she wants this camp to be all-inclusive for anyone looking to better their skills on the snow.
While she hopes the camp is a success, she doesn’t envision this being a one-time event.
“This is the pilot run for the event so we didn’t want to get to big and that’s why we put a cap of 20 people doing it,” Anderson said. “But in the end, I would love to see this be an annual thing. … I would love to see this expand with the number of people in the next couple of years. It would be awesome to make something like this happen more than once a year.”
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It’s going to be at least another month before Summit County’s high school athletes have any chance of getting onto the field again.