CALGARY, Alta (press release) — Alpine Canada Alpin today officially released Podium 2010 — an aggressive strategy and plan designed to again make Canada a world power in alpine ski racing.
Podium 2010 directly addresses the developmental needs of racers, the concerns of their parents and the ski racing passions of the nation, said Ken Read, named president of Alpine Canada in May and a key architect of the innovative plan to give athletes the financial, technical, and human resources critical to becoming the best in the world.
"Podium 2010 is about athletic and organizational excellence that produces winners at many levels over many years, said Read. "Through this plan, we intend to turn vision into podium finishes and Olympic medals.
Core to Podium 2010 are significantly increased efforts to increase financial support for alpine skiing through a fundamental overhaul of the athlete development system. It calls for ski racing to partner with industry, business and government through a foundation of good business practices.
"Podium 2010 is a practical vision of what it's going to take to get Canada back on top of the podium, said Nancy Greene Raine, Canada's most famous ski racer and the country's female athlete of the century after which the national entry level ski program is named. "Alpine ski racing has been crying for a plan like this. It takes money, coaching and a solid network of support to produce ski racing champions.
The document — created with input from national team alumni, and business and sports leaders across Canada — details steps to grow the sport, developing and retaining more young ski racers. Podium 2010 addresses the need for world-class coaching and financial commitments required to ensure young racers continue to get their education.
It promotes an elite streaming system that gives the best young racers in the country the opportunity to compete against each other and — in Team Canada colours — compete against the rest of the world.
Read says Canada must invest in superior training facilities here at home and leading edge training technology to ensure our athletes have the tools they need to succeed in the most cost-efficient manner.
"We have 10,000 young Canadians in entry level ski racing programs and we have to make sure they taste success and develop a passion for the sport as they improve their skill, said Read. "We want to be performance centred and athlete focussed so our racers have the human, technical and financial resources to be winners.
The Podium 2010 Program also contains a fundraising plan where individuals are being asked to commit $20,000 over four years to ski racing. Development programs will receive 75 per cent of the money raised while 25 per cent is earmarked for an education foundation for ski racers. In just three months, the Podium 2010 Program has already generated close to $1 million from generous supporters of ski racing across Canada.
"This is a blueprint to get Canada on the podium again, Read said.
The full Podium 2010 Alpine Canada Alpin Strategic Plan For Excellence document is available on line at www.canski.org.
Alpine Canada Alpin is the governing body for alpine ski racing in Canada, with more than 27,000 members across the country.