VIMSS at the Races
Annual fundraising event at Mount Washington
Saturday, April 6, 2013 at 6 pm
For tickets: email@example.com
Eight Vancouver Island athletes who compete in mountain sports have been awarded travel grants by VIMSS to assist them with training and competition expenses for the upcoming 2013 season.
An example of the athletes funded this year is nordic skier Alex Stapff who requested assistance in order to qualify for the 2012 Provincial Championships in Prince George and the National Championships in Callaghan Valley, BC. He’s the captain of his team despite many of his teammates being older than him, and in addition to training, competing and helping with his club’s fundraising, Alec “helps little kids with race prep and coach racers and people interested in the sport who would like to stay with it and race when they are older. “
The following athletes received travel grants:
· Thomas Bergvinson, Snowboard, Courtenay
· Kole Harle, Alpine Ski, Campbell River
· Max Heard, Freestyle Ski, Duncan
· Riley Heard, Freestyle Ski, Duncan
· Keegan McKooey, Alpine Ski, Cumberland
· Alec Stapff, Nordic Ski, Campbell River
· Avalon Wastenays, Nordic Ski, Campbell River
· Jamie Wastenays, Nordic Ski, Campbell River
“All funds raised help these dedicated athletes to offset the travel and competition costs that are the price of success,” said VIMSS Chair Karen Bonell. “We wish all of the Vancouver Island athletes success in their competitions and training this season and we thank our sponsors and supporters who continue to support our fundraising efforts.”
VIMSS Grant Recipient Bios
Thomas Bergvinson, Comox Valley, Snowboard, 13
· Thomas had 4 podium finishes (one gold and 3 silver) in regional competitions last season. He credits his other activities (wakeboarding, trampoline and skateboarding) as contributing to his successes.
Kole Harle, Alpine Ski, Campbell River, 14
· Following up a successful 2011 season where he sustained multiple podium finishes, Kole qualified for Can/Am Westerns and the Canadian team for the Whistler Cup competing against athletes several years older.
Riley Heard, Freestyle Ski, Duncan, 17
· Riley brought home two bronze medals from the 2012 BC Winter Games, in single and double moguls and was third overall in the 2012 BC Freestyle Series
Max Heard, Freestyle Ski, Duncan, 20
· Max had an outstanding run during the last two seasons with a gold and silver medals at the Canada Winter Games followed up with gold medals at two key national and Can-Am competitions.
Keegan McKooey, Alpine Ski, 13
· Last season Keegan had strong finishes against competitors two or more years older than her, often finishing in the top third of the competition. An active volunteer in her community, she strives to be a role model for younger athletes in the club.
Alex Stapff, Campbell River, Nordic Ski, 16
· Alex has raced for the past four years and won the Coastal Cup in 2011 at Mt. Washington; he is the captain of the team, helps with fundraisers, builds race courses for his club and assists with coaching younger skiers.
Avalon Wastenays, Nordic ski, Campbell River, 15
· This past season Avalon consistently hit the podium with a Gold, 2 Silvers and a Bronze medal at various provincial competitions including BC Championships and BC Winter Games (both Silver).
Jamie Wastenays, Campbell River, Nordic Ski, 17
· Jamie was 5th in the 2012 BC Championships in the 10K event and was 3rd in his age category at the 2012 Vancouver Island 30 km Loppet. When not racing he helps young racer with tips on technique and racing, showing them how to wax their skis, and making sure they are prepared for the workout/race.
Last weekend, Nordic ski racer (and VIMSS funded athlete) Andrea Lee of Black Creek clocked the fastest time in the women’s under 23 Skiathlon event at the World Trials and earned a spot on the Canadian National U23 Team. Later this month, Lee heads to Liberec, Czech Republic for the World Under 23 Nordic ski championships.
Lee says, “I’m very excited to head to Liberec. This is my first time representing Canada (and the Strathcona Nordics) overseas, and I know it will be a phenomenal experience. My goal is enjoy the experience, learn lots, and ski as fast as I can!”
Lee’s home club is the Strathcona Nordic Ski Club, where she trained and raced throughout her teen years. Lee’s former coach, Dave Battison says, “It is fantastic that Andrea has made the National Team! I hope that this is the catalyst that takes her on to international success.”
The U23 World Championships are a week-long event with five races over nine days. Some of the best skiers in the world will be attending this event, including future World Cup and Olympic stars.
For the past two years, Lee has been training with the National Team Development Centre in Thunder Bay, Ont. while attending Lakehead University and working towards a degree in biology.
Of the messages she has been receiving from friends and family on the island, Lee says, “It feels so great to hear so many words of support and encouragement from people from the club and ski community on the Island. It’s extremely motivating to feel so much support even when I’m on the other side of the county. Thank you!”
You can follow Andrea on the National Team Development Centre website at http://www.ntdc-tbay.on.ca/andrea.htm.
With files from the Comox Valley Record
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