I have delayed the start of the year messages given some significant changes that have developed. I hope you have seen the email from the new owners regarding the status of changes at Catamount. As many of you know the events of last week were not well communicated which was not the intention.
This Sunday, Tom, Rich and Jim Schafer will address the parents at noon. Transitions are painful but I have strong confidence that Catamount and especially racing will make great strides. Let us not forget how difficult this business is. Blandford folded and did not open last year. Luckily, Butternut’s ownership stepped in and they are back. Bousquet is for sale and only just opened. For the last two years our race league has had to make massive scheduling changes do to aging infrastructure at the Ski Areas. I will not that Berkshire East has stepped in to ensure races occurred. That is no small task.
As you can see from their message our new owners are very committed to racing and their family has a very strong racing history. We were looking to get lower Alley Cat homologated for TriState racing this year when the transaction occurred. It was going to take an exceptional approval to pass it for SL. This was held back over concerns on the trails narrowness and safety. There was not enough time to make the changes for this year but now the discussion is on widening it and having it homologated for FIS races from top to bottom. Once this happens, we will have the best race venue is TriState. (No offense to the great trail at Berkshire East)
As we deal with some immediate uncertainties, we are in the middle of race season and need to keep moving forward. We need to start planning for our Interclub race on February 3rd. This only happens with significant volunteer support from parents. We will go out with a separate request for volunteers.
We had the largest Interclub Pizza Social ever. I would like to thank Jamie Cheney for her efforts on organizing that and our new Facebook communications platform.
We held our own USSA Level 100 coaching certification managed by Mark Colman, Bruce Diamond, and Heather Dohr.
Six seasons ago that Jon Nolting came out from USSA headquarters in Park City to run a level 100 program at Catamount. In the previous few years Catamount’s Interclub program had more than doubled in size and the TriState program was expanding significantly. We were struggling to find experienced coaches and we had the Parents Association offer to pay for USSA training fees to help coaches develop skills. Over the last six years we have spent over $8,000 on coaches training. We have finally come full circle where we have three outstanding Coaches who have worked their way up to Level 300 and can manage our own in house certification
You may have heard of MAASRA being created. This is a new organization that is working to combine the efforts of Eastern and Western Mass. components of TriState. Some of this effort has been developed over the difficult negotiations related to the Piche Invitational. It has become more important as Eastern Mass has lost host mountains and has been reduced effectively to Wachusset’s large program. This year the U12/14 series will combine east and west. Unfortunately, this was also driven by certain members of CYSL looking to gain more control of the TriState Board for their narrow interest. Many Catamount coaches have been involved in the organizational discussions and this should create a strong venue for more strategic efforts related to ski racing in the State.
For those of you who are new, the Parents Association serves to support the race team. Our annual focus is on organizing volunteers for the interclub race, providing annual T-Shirts/Hats to our athletes, and the year-end Interclub awards. We have parents helping with team Jackets and other projects. We are providing Sprongo accounts for video analysis. The big strategic focus for the last few years was to host a TriState race. Clearly, this will get a jump-start from our new owners.
Please attend Sunday’s meeting and reach out with any questions, concerns, or ideas.