A view of Flagstaff ski and snowboard team members from Hannah Gillenwater, Mackenzie Spillman, and Audrey Gillenwater competing in The Giant Slalom Spectacular race in Aspen.
The Flagstaff ski and snowboard club team recently took a step that should bolster the program going forward.
The team was awarded podium certification at the bronze level by U.S. Ski and Snowboard, an accreditation that will give the local club team access to improved resources.
Opportunities for the bronze-level clubs include professional development for staff with an invitation to provide content for club development resources, opportunity to present at regional and national club excellence conferences, and participation in forums and roundtable discussions with peers on a national and regional level.
“It has helped us plug any gaps we have from administration to training to coaching,” said Todd Gillenwater, the club’s president of the board of directors and father of a pair of athletes on the team. “It elevates us to a level that puts us much closer to U.S. Ski and Snowboard. So we have access to higher-up people in the sport for advice and best practices. We also hope, even though we have been here for 53 years, that it gives us that higher-up stamp of approval.”
Since 1967, the Flagstaff ski and snowboard team — which is a nonprofit team ran primarily by parent volunteers — has trained thousands of Arizona junior athletes, from talented amateurs to Junior Olympians. The club has athletes ranging from 8 to 18 years old, including some high school athletes that compete in sports for the local schools.