Like many other sports, freestyle skiing has largely been dominated by male athletes in both numbers and, as much as we loath to admit it, skill. This is not at all because females are less capable. Men have simply been in the game longer. They have been more supported through their larger numbers, and many training programs have not had the resources or knowledge for teaching girls. Because of this, female athletes have had many more hurtles to jump over in order to reach the top. However, all of this is changing.
The growth of female involvement in freestyle skiing has been gaining huge momentum. More female-specific programs have been built (like the G-Team in 2012), more specified research has been going into the mental and physical development of female athletes1, and more female athletes have achieved podium status who give inspiration and encouragement to all of the younger girls following in their footsteps.
In 2018, Freestyle B.C. took initiative to fuel this movement by creating a province-wide program called GIRLSTYLERZ. Through the leadership of Danika Mazur from the Vancouver Freestyle Ski Club, the Female Initiative Team (FIT) was formed with an appointed coordinating coach from each of 8 different freestyle clubs throughout B.C. Everyone involved has been working extremely hard to grow their female programs with workshops, camps, social events, and activities. The goal is to boost the numbers and confidence of female athletes through every level of freestyle skiing, from Fundamentalz to provincial. We look forward to expanding GIRLSTYLERZ to include more clubs throughout B.C., Canada, and even the world!
Please visit Freestyle BC Girls Initiative for more information.
In collaboration with GIRLSTYLERZ, the Silver Star Freestyle Club has created a program called G-Style in order to unite all SSFC female athletes. This includes the ladies of FUNdamnetalz, G-Team, D-Team, Comp Team, and Big Mt. Team. Through G-Style, we strive to amplify the fun and support for all female skiers in the club, unite and encourage them, and create an environment where both male and female skiers alike feel welcome and respected as individuals, not as stereotypes.
Over the coming years, we hope to build G-Style in strength and numbers. We will teach all SSFC coaches more about training and connecting with female athletes, organize fun ski and social events, and build an atmosphere that encapsulates all of the GIRLSTYLERZ core values for all of Silver Star freestyle athletes:
G-Style Mission Statement: To elevate and empower athletes who identify as female through the sport of Freestyle Skiing and to grow the numbers and skills of female athletes across all levels of the sport. We envision a future where there is an equal number of male and female athletes at the same level at the same age.
1. Female Development Links
G-Style Photo Galley
(If you have any great shots of your female athlete training on snow or dry-land, please send them along to email@example.com)
The Hall of Fame: FEMALE FREESTYLE
To find out more about the Silver Star G-Style Program, please contact Laura Chatham (SSFC Female Program Coordinator) at firstname.lastname@example.org
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