President's Message

October 2, 2020

Yes, fall has arrived but it looks like we are going to hold onto some sunshine for a little bit.  This plays into our plans perfectly.  Our outdoor trampoline sessions in Coldstream are a big hit and the facility is absolutely awesome.  Huge thanks to our friends at Vernon Ski Club for getting this program off the ground and of course thanks to Wade and our coaches. 

The good weather is also a blessing as we get set to schedule weekly work parties up at Silver Star.  We will be taking down our dry slope rail and tramp facility and working on the Air Site to get it prepped for the Air Bag.  This work needs many hands so please keep your eyes open for these work party schedules.  The value in this work is that we can get into our facilities earlier in the season.  

The beginning of October is also the opening of our Winter Registration.  This opening was delayed to ensure our operating plan could fit with Silver Star's operating plan.  We apologize for the inconvenience.  However, we are open and look forward to another successful registration period.  Questions about programming or registration should be directed to wade@ssfreestyle.com.  

It is important to note that our club has participated in webinars, phone calls, zoom calls, and other forms of communication with Freestyle Canada, Freestyle BC, BC Snowboard, Via Sport, Silver Star Mountain Resort, and other freestyle clubs across the country to ensure that we can offer and support safe programming this winter as they pertain to COVID-19 restrictions.  Our operating plan will meet or exceed provincial guidelines and will fit with Silver Star's requirements.  Our coaches will be given instruction to keep us within the standards and our athlete's will be instructed and supported to embrace the standards that are in place.  

As we have all seen, even the best plans to deal with COVID will change.  We will post our operating plans closer to the season starting and will continue to update and re-enforce our plan throughout the season.  If there are concerns or suggestions please feel free to email me at president@ssfreestyle.com.  Safety is always our top priority.

Our club is about building life-long skiers and riders through the competitive sport of freestyle and freeskiing.  Despite the challenges of 2020 I believe we are going to accomplish this goal again this year.  Can't wait to see you on the slopes. 

Ryan

President

Silver Star Freestyle Club

September 11, 2020

Well…. September is here and although things feel a little different it is time for kids to head back to school.  Safety will be the biggest item on the agenda for schools as they restart.  Teachers, students and support staff will be practicing new ways of doing things and focusing on keeping each other safe.  As new groups of people form it is important to practice all the safety protocols recommended by Health Authorities and be personally aware of your own health and any signs or symptoms of illness.  

The SSFC will continue to schedule programming as long as we can confidently say we are doing so in a safe environment.  Our summer programming schedule was amazing and I personally thank all the parents, athletes and coaches for attending and practicing personal safety.  The tramps and rails programming in E-lot was a club first and from the smiles I have seen on kids faces and the enthusiasm I have seen from the coaches I think this facility proved to be a hit.  I believe it will become a regular summer venue with opportunities to expand in future years.  Thanks again to all those that help make it happen.  A BIG REMINDER TO ALL MEMBERS.  We will have to dismantle this facility at the end of September.  This will take some volunteer effort so please keep your eyes open for requests for help.  They will be posted shortly. 

Water ramps was also a success this year.  Despite COVID and a late start we had an excellent turn-out to our August ramp session.  We have two more weekends scheduled in September (Sept 10-12 and Sept 17-19)  These late season sessions are great for getting started on inverts or just going to experience ramps for the first time.  For Comp and Comp Dev athletes they are great sessions for some last minute qualifying or refreshers before air bag opens up in a few months. 

Fall programming is starting to come together.  Air-house tramp sessions are posted and the Sports Academy programming through SD22 is in place.  COVID has restricted our ability to host trampoline training to the same scope we have in the past.  Indoor facility rental is very hard to find at the best of times, add COVID pre-cautions and it becomes very difficult.  Please note that we are in the works of putting together another outdoor tramp facility.  This venue will provide expanded tramp opportunities with a focus on the younger age groups.  Stay tuned for registration dates as they will be popping up very shortly.  

Moving away from programming for a bit I would like to note that we will be hosting our club AGM this fall.  Your board made a decision to move our AGM from the traditional spring timing, to the fall, in order to try and get more participation and by moving it closer to the upcoming season, maybe providing some more relevant information.  Please note that this meeting will be a virtual meeting.  Many AGMs in 2020 have moved to this format.  It poses some challenges but at the same time provides some opportunities as well.  This will be a first for us but I am excited to give it a try.  Stay tuned for AGM dates, agenda, and information packages. 

Have a great September everyone.  Stay calm and safe and keep having fun. 

Ryan Johnson, Club President

SS Freestyle

August 14, 2020

Happy Summer everyone!!

Well……it took a little while to get here but we are officially feeling an Okanagan heat wave.  Not only is the temperature hot but the heat is also on the Silver Star Freestyle Club as we plan for the remainder of summer programs, look ahead to some fall programming, and get super pumped for winter.  (Sorry to take you there already.) 

The Coronavirus has certainly made an impact on all of our lives and will make 2020 a year none of us will ever forget.  The global challenges, illnesses, and ending of lives is hard to even comprehend.  There were times when it was hard to imagine some of the activities and people we enjoy were ever going to return.  However, what I love about challenge is we see how resilient we truly are and how we find ways to persevere.  Challenges call for change and with change comes growth.  We are starting to see the payback of this in all aspects of our lives as well as sport.  

I would like to thank all those volunteers who helped build our Dry Slope Ramp to Rails and Tramp facility in E-lot.  Without a doubt the coolest thing I have seen in a long time.  Special thanks to Silver Star Mountain Resort for letting us use the space, SCV, Land Construction, DCT Trucking, Pinnacle Earthworks and Tolko for machine time and materials.  This facility will become part of our future summer programming and we will continue to improve it year over year. 

Another project in our sights is a Dry Slope Ramp to Air Bag facility.  While this was a 2020 dream it will not come true this year.  However, we are well on our way to making this a reality for 2021.  Stay tuned as we continue to work with SSMR and the local community in an effort to make this happen.  If anyone is interested in helping out with this project please contact me at president@ssfreestyle.com.

Fall 2020 programming will look a little different this year to years past.  Our fall trampoline program will be hosted in Wednesdays in Kelowna at the Airhouse training facility.  Unfortunately, spaces will be limited.  Due to venue constraints in Vernon and the precautionary measures necessary to operate a facility during the pandemic our normal fall tramp programming cannot happen.  Please take a close look at our website for the programming that is available and watch for emails as things may change on short notice.  Despite these times we will continue to move forward as best we can.

Winter programming is in the planning stages and at first glance we are hopeful that we can host all of our programs that we have in the past.  Our capacity to hold close to 220 members should not be curbed nor our ability to operate the Air Bag, Air Site, Moguls, and Park training facilities.  Freestyle BC is  planning Timber Tour and Super Youth Events for next season.  Stay tuned for that schedule to be posted at a later date.  

Have a safe remainder of your summer.  I look forward to seeing everyone again soon.

Ryan

April 10, 2020

Hello everyone, 

I hope everyone is staying healthy and safe in these interesting and challenging times.  As we head into a second month of social distancing, extra-ordinary pre-cautions, and uncertainty it is important to establish some new routines and maintain social contact in new ways.  Our freestyle community is here for you and we will continue to look for new ways to engage our athletes until things get back to normal.  

This post would normally be a season ending send off.  Some athletes would have finished in Whistler for the final Timber Tour of the year.  For others the final weekend of spring skiing at Silver Star Mountain.  The early end to our season has definitely been a bit of a bummer, however, we must not forget the many awesome moments we had this season.  In many ways it was the best season that I have been a part of and I want to thank everyone for that. 

For most of our coaches their season ended before the coronavirus pre-cautions closed the mountain and we made the decision to end remaining winter programs.  However, 6 or 7 of our coaches did miss scheduled work days because of the early end to the season, as did our Program Director.  Our coaches are hired as Independent Contractors and it is likely they would not qualify for Employment Insurance.  In addition, most of our coaches don't have other employment at this time.  With this in mind the board decided that any Silver Star Freestyle Coach that missed scheduled programming days due to the cancellation of winter programming would be paid for those days missed.  In addition our Program Director will also be paid for the remainder of his contract for the season.  Where possible we have scheduled coaches to complete some clean-up and spring/summer programming work.  We feel this is the right decision for our club, for coach retention, coach appreciation, and coach recognition.  It aligns with what most clubs in the province are trying to do and it aligns with our values and club vision.  This commitment is approximately $9K. 

You will be excited to know that despite our current Global situation we are still looking forward and planning for the future.  At this point we have not announced or posted any Spring or Summer programming.  However, I can say that we are planning the Spring and Summer season as per a normal year.  This means we are putting everything in place so that if we are able to open up programming we will be ready to do so.  We are also thinking outside the box to find new ways of training under the current restrictions.  Stay tuned to the club's posts, website, instagram, and facebook communications as we will be keeping in touch as much as we can. 

On the business side of things I am proud to report that our club will be ending its fiscal year this April 30th in very good shape.  Our fundraising targets were all met, our programming numbers exceeded expectations, and our costs remained fairly close to budget considering the extra numbers.  Our planning sessions last summer set a goal of putting some money aside to upgrade and expand our training facilities this summer.  At this point it looks like those plans will be achievable. 

Typically we hold our AGM for the club in late May.  I am not sure if the board is psychic or not but we were planning to move the AGM into the fall of the calendar year in order for it to encourage more participation and improve alignment with the winter season.  With the current restrictions on social gathering it looks like we are somewhat forced to make a change in the AGM anyway.  So, stay tuned for the date and location of our AGM. 

Your Board of Directors has agreed to stay intact until the AGM.  We will announce any vacancies to the board in advance of the AGM and seek nominations for all positions at the same time.  I hope everyone is healthy, safe, and staying connected.  


Take care,

Ryan 

President, Silver Star Freestyle Ski and Snowboard Club

March 6, 2020

Hey SSFreestyle members,

It is very hard to believe that some of our programs will be coming to an end this weekend.  This season has flown by and what a fantastic season it was. How about all that SNOW!

The 2019/2020 season was one of our club's best ever.  Not only were we over 200 members, largest club in Canada, but we improved our numbers in Fundamentalz, G-team, and snowboarders this year over last.  These are key groups to ensure the passion for skiing and riding continues in our community and future Freestyle athletes are born.  We are easily the most innovative, diverse, and progressive club around and we should be proud of that fact.  It is so awesome to see our bibs flying around the mountain every weekend learning new tricks, techniques, and showing off to whoever will watch.  I absolutely love it.  If your young athlete is finishing up this weekend remember to come out and watch them during our Skillz Rodeo and Hot Dog Mogul events taking place this Saturday and Sunday.  It is a time to showcase their new skills and have some fun competition with their peers.  Not to mention some lunch on the mountain.

Our club, programming and culture would not be what it is without some unbelievably talented people.  Our Program Director, Wade Garrod is simply awesome.  His passion and creativity keeps us on our toes and constantly pushes us to make things better for our athletes.  I don't have words for the effort and insight he brings to our club.  Our head/lead coaches Hayden, Svin, Laura, Vernonika, Crispin and Daniel are the heartbeat of our programs.  Managing 200 plus kids and over 35 coaches is a huge task.  Not only do they pull it off but they bring energy and creativity to the hill every weekend.  This season we saw some returning coaches and some new coaches to the programs.  Many are alumni from the club.  We thank you all so much for your hard work and love of the sport.  We hope to see you again next season.

Oh…… and how about those volunteers!!!  It was awesome to see some new faces out there helping out at the airsite, mogul course, raffle, Send it Land it Nailed, and everything else we do.  Our club's success depends on the effort we put in as volunteers.  So THANK YOU.  Time is precious when our kids are at this age.  Standing on the side of a mountain with a shovel in your hand may not be your first choice of places to be.  We get it.  And we appreciate it.

My string of thanks ends with our Board.  Folks if you see Teresa Hoivik, Brad Swanson, Brent Land, Matthew Brown, Yvonne Fagerlund, Luke Friesen, Ian Stewart, Marcus Shallaby, or our elusive treasurer Jason Shearer please take a moment to say thanks.  This group worked as a tight team this year.  It was a pleasure to be amongst the enthusiasm they brought to the club and for the club.  Simply a great experience. 

So where do we go from here?  Well the season is not completely over.  We are 2/3 into the Timber Tour season and we have some past podium finishes to let you all know about very soon.  We have Junior Nationals coming up in March where we have between 6 and 8 people qualify.  Silver Star Mountain Resort is hosting SEISMIC Festival.  (Get out and enjoy this action and participate where-ever you can)  Springbreak is almost here so let's all get together and do some laps in the sunshine.

Oh and remember…..

The Silver Star Freestyle Club is more than just a ski club.  We operate programs 12 months of the year within our vision of having family fun, producing life long skiers, and competitive athletes.  As we move into spring and summer stay connected with our club through our website, facebook and instagram.  Our community will be busy mountain biking, water ramping, tramping, or doing whatever else we can dream up.  And of course we look forward to you shredding with us next season.

Take care,

Ryan

President, Silver Star Freestyle Ski and Snowboard Club



December 2019

Well, I hope everyone had an amazing spring and summer 2019.  Living and enjoying a smoke free Okanagan valley was priceless.  We are so lucky to live in this part of the world.  

Part of that enjoyment was watching our Silver Star Freestyle Club athletes send it at water ramp training at Covert Farms in Oliver.  We ran three 3 day camps again this summer with some optional 1 day camps for those trying water ramps for the first time.  Water ramps is a great progression facility for kids to take their tricks from the trampoline to a venue that is safe and where they can try their tricks with skis on.  I would encourage all our athletes to talk with our coaches and to give this a try.  Big shout out to all our coaches who lead these sessions and to Wade Garrod for organizing this program.    We will post some videos on our Instagram account soon for everyone to see. 

The start of school is an important time for everyone.  Getting our kids ready for the next educational challenge, sorting out school supplies, clothes, and of course the FALL SCHEDULE!  Nothing quite like the back to school schedule of transporting our kids from one "priority" to the next.  The SSFC is very appreciative that one of those priorities was our Fall Trampoline program.  Once again, we maxed out this fall program with athletes from ages 7 to 17.  In addition, we hosted programs for the Alpine Ski Club and Maven Lane.  This tramps program even took a group of over 25 to Air House in Kelowna weekly.  We loaded this amazing venue with a ton of energy, talent, and superb coaching over the fall and some of the progression and flat out fun was great to see.  If you have not participated in our fall tramps program please reach out to learn more.  This is the safest way to learn how to tramp, get some great exercise, and learn some progression skills that you can take to the slopes. 

And just like that winter is here again….. 

Registration is open for our Winter Programming.  Spread the word and get your family and friends to be a part of largest Freestyle club in Canada.  Your Board of Directors has put a focus this season on instruction, family, and building life long skiers.  This is part of our Vision and to do this we have put more resources and support to our team of coaches so they can provide the highest quality training they are capable of for our kids.  In addition, we intend to create more opportunity for family members to "tail gun" our groups and share more experiences they are having on social media.  We have consciously committed to hosting fewer events this year so we can focus our volunteer energy on training, team building, and creating a club environment. 

If you love watching our athletes compete make sure you register for our Send It, Land It, Nailed It competition at Silver Star on family day long weekend.  This will be a great comp for all our club athletes to participate in, as it brings friendly competition experience in a familiar and fun environment.  And of course, we will be supporting athletes to attend the Timber Tour Events in the province.  These BC Freestyle sanctioned events are available for skier aged 7 to 18 years old.  The Super Youth category is designed for safe and fun competition for kids aged 7 to 12.  While the Timber Tour creates a more competitive environment with provincial points attached for athletes aged 12 to 18.  WE can't forget our Snowboard and Big Mountain teams either.  These programs continue to grow and we have competition level athletes touring the province in these disciplines as well.  Please ask Wade Garrod or any board member about these comps if you have any questions.  To see the event schedule and find links to register for these events log on to www.ssfreestyle.com 

I am very excited for this season.  The programming and coach plans are looking better than ever and our facilities, the SS Terrain Park, and staff are in the best state I have seen in my time with the club.  I encourage everyone to drop by our training sites, create some ski time with one another, and enjoy the sport of freestyle.  Keep your eye open for Volunteer opportunities as well.  We need every family we can get to help with fundraising, keeping facilities operational, and putting on competitions.  

See you soon on the slopes.

Ryan

President, Silver Star Freestyle Ski and Snowboard Club


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