And what an undertaking it was! No one was turned away, all U16 girls in BC were welcome and 56 attended this memorable 4-day camp-of-a-lifetime! It happened December 6 to 9 at Sun Peaks Resort and attendees were treated to super-star all-female coaching, guest speakers, workshops and lots and lots of skiing (GS and SL). Every day finished with a fun run - there was a human slalom 62 people long and a 56 girl synchro competition! . "Why I Ski" Word Cloud (right) - from the athletes
"Watching the athletes come together and get more comfortable challenging themselves and pushing out of their comfort zones was a very powerful experience," said Molyneux, one of the key organizers. "We encouraged them take ownership of their own skiing, understand what they were working on and why it was important. Thank you to BC Alpine - their support and vision to create an inclusive and affordable camp did not go unnoticed. As a province we have raised the bar!"
GFF Camp Values (as written by the athletes) - Maximize (be present); Willingness (be open); Dedication; Determination; Helpfulness; Friendliness; Energetic; Positivity; Inclusivness, Passion; Teamwork; Hard Work; Send it!
Chanel Leger, 2nd year U16 Fernie Alpine Ski Team racer summed it up when she said,"best camp ever! it was so empowering working with strong girls and women to become a better athlete and to build friendships!"
Athlete participants were asked "what was the most important lesson you learned at GFF?":
- "Support for each other. We are all out here to try our best and the support of a team or group makes it that much more enjoyable and pushes you to work hard."
- "Whatever you want to achieve comes from your own hard work and is all in your control."
- "It’s important to listen and recover your body properly before putting it through physical and mental experiences."
- "That you are in control of yourself and your actions, it is up to you to become the skier and person you want to become."
- "I learned the most important lessons off the hill. Ways to deal with nerves and preparation for yourself. I really liked the saying pressure is a privilege."
- "I learned that to become a better skier, you need to be in tune to your mind and how you’re feeling, because the majority of the sport is mental."
Final message to the athletes from the GFF coaches: The GFF coaching crew would like to send a Giant THANK YOU to all the athletes for being open and accepting. We encourage you to use any and all of us coaches as tools and resources throughout your journey in sport and beyond, whenever you need us! You all worked hard and challenged yourselves in a variety of ways. Remember that through your hard work and perseverance you have earned your right to play and be where you are - enjoy it and continue to grow!
Thank you to these amazing female coaches for their hard work, energy, creativity and commitment to this unique and important initiative:
- Katie Findlay - Program Director at Revelstoke Ski Club, teacher and outdoor educator
- Montana Molyneux - U16 coach at Fernie Alpine Ski Team, Certified Strength and Conditioning Coach
- Britt Janyk - Olympian and Canadian Alpine Ski Team Member, 15 x National Champion
- Danielle Robson - Coached Women's National Development Team, is a strength and conditioning coach and owner of Fall Line Fitness
- Sarah Culver - Whistler Mountain Ski Club U16 coach, Nutrition Consultant
- Samantha Fournier - U14 head coach at Sun Peaks Alpine Club, Respiratory Therapist
- Emma Fyfe - U12 coach at Fernie Alpine Ski Team
CHECK OUT THE VIDEO ON FACEBOOK
This camp was a dream that could not have happened without the help of these supporters:
- Timberwolf T&C INC - Sponsor for the GFF headbands
- Rugged Conditioning - Sponsored the Saturday Night Speaker Session
- BC Alpine's Roger Carry - Cinematography and social media posts
- Black Beaver Athletics - Donated gym space for our Squat Workshop
- Sun Peaks Alpine Club - On-hill support
- Sun Peaks Resort - On hill support
- Calvin from Cahilty Creek Hotel - Yoga room hook up
- Jil Forbes, owner of Dimensional Wellness - recovery talk and yoga/stretch session. Best quote "Your body is like a race ski - it needs to be tuned!"
- Stef Fleck, CAST (women's speed) joined via Skype - Q&A on her path to the national team
- Hilary Spires, owner of Rugged Conditioning Training and Trail Running Women podcast spoke about being a multi-sport athlete and mental preparation. Starting with a NCAA hockey scholarship, to her first MMA fight and running 50km+ trail races
- Britt Janyk talked about nerves in the start gate, high pressure races and the importance of having a team around you. Best quote "Pressure is a privilege"