Jack Watt races down the GS race course at the Whitewater Nancy Green event.

Nancy Green racers prepare to conclude a strong season

Nancy Green program finishes a strong season at the Summit Lake Ski Hill.

The Nakusp Nancy Green ski race program has been operating on Summit Lake Ski Hill for a number of years under the auspice of The Summit Lake Racers club. The program, designed for 4-13 year olds, focuses on building skiing capacity and teamworkwithin a competitive framework. This year, 20 young local racers were coached by four volunteers Coleman Mackintosh, Angus Jackson, Kristy Cameron and Troy Clark and participated in a season that involved four zone races, one local club race and a zone final scheduled in Whitewater after the release of this article. The program is organized and supported by an executive of volunteers who dedicate numerous hours to keep competitive ski racing viable and exciting in Nakusp.

To an outsider, the sport of ski racing may appear to be a soley individual sport however, as coach Troy Clark points out, thesport is more team orientated than one might think.

“It’s both they run their race individually and then get rewarded as a team. It’s not about placing, it’s about racing as a team and working together on race day. It has been amazing seeing the older kids help out the younger ones do things like get on the chair lift and get ready in the start gate. If they stay in the program long enough, they in turn become the ones to help out the younger racers making sure the team is all together and looking out for their buddies on the race course and on the hill.”

This year the Nancy Green racers saw a drop in participation but managed to maintain a competitive group of youth and volunteers to keep the program active.

“It was smaller, but it was a more cohesive group where in years past we would have more racers in the program but noteveryone would be showing up to races,” Clark commented. “This year we had a core group that competed together. Theypracticed together, they all traveled out of town. It was great, I was really happy with the results.”

Working together, the tiny racers managed to be competitive at each event they attended this year. Separated into age categories for both team and individual awards, the Summit Lake Nancy Greeners ripped through courses at Phoenix, Salmo, Red Mountain and Whitewater with enough speed to continually climb the steep competitive slope of the winner’s podium. The Under 6 andUnder 10 group (U6-U10) managed a sweep through the season and earned first place ribbons at each event while Cedar Cameron-Harding earned respectable finishes in a competitive U12 category. The U14 group was dominated by Summit Lake Racers as Cheyenne Tourand, Colby Mackintosh and Jack Watt consistently packed the podium, trading spots among first, second, and third throughout the season.

“We had a great season and a great group,” Clark surmises, “seeing the kids come through the finish gate with big smiles ontheir faces, that really means a lot to the coaches and the volunteers.”