USSA to Host New Club
PARK CITY — Starting next month, USSA clubs will have a new
opportunity to put to use much of the knowledge that the U.S.
Ski Team has gathered over the past five years. The association
is launching a newly created club certification program at its fifth
“Club Excellence Conference” May 8 and 9 in Park City. More
than 150 are expected to attend the inaugural presentation.
“Key to this program is the word ‘collaboration,’” said Walt Evans,
the director of Sport Development for USSA. “The success of the
effort depends on a partnership between the individual clubs and
The club project, which has been in the works since the 2010
Olympic Winter Games, is part of an effort that USSA CEO Bill
Marolt initiated to refocus the association on athlete development
— in particular, alpine development.
“After the Vancouver Games, we knew we needed to have a
stronger and more in-depth development program,” Marolt told
Ski Racing. “The club program and the work that [Patrick] Riml
[alpine director] is doing is part of the rethinking of development
from the bottom up.”
The program provides clubs with a foundation for excellence
as well a sophisticated outline of what clubs need to achieve
certification and move forward through bronze, silver and gold
levels. USSA will provide a handbook to aid clubs in bringing their
organizations to national levels.
Clubs will be appraised in four areas: leadership, operations,
programming and performance.
With the encouragement of Athletic Director Luke Bodensteiner,
Evans assembled a task force including Troy Flanagan, USSA’s
director of Sports Science; Aldo Radamus, Ski Club Vail’s
executive director, Lester Keller, USSA Western Region director;
John Nolting, Sport Education director, and Jeff Weinman, who is
USSA’s assistant national competition director, to create a detailed
outline and methodology for clubs to capitalize on methods the ski
team has found successful over the years.
“We locked ourselves in a room for two days and filled the walls
with ideas and thoughts to accomplish the goal of helping the clubs
bring value to the athletes,” Evans said. What came out of the
task force was an outline of what USSA feels is critical for clubs to
work towards. Evans says the critical element will be the help from
club directors who will be visiting and sharing their knowledge and
experience with other organizations.
“This program is all about collaboration,” Evans said. “Sport
culture is evolving and this program will evolve as well.”