Qu'Appelle Valley Ski Club    

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Program Philosophy

The guiding principle of our club is progressive, sound skill development in an enjoyable, positive environment that fosters fellowship, team spirit and self development.

Our History

The Qu'Appelle Valley Ski Club, Alpine Race Team had its beginning in the late 70's. There were several events that helped spawn its birth. The existence of the Regina race team was a big influencing factor. Trevor Palmier and John Lamontagne were members of their club. Around about '77, the team was hosting a race at Mission Ridge. Dave Erickson, who was an avid Jr. Ski Patroler had come out for a day of skiing, and when he saw the excitement wanted to be in the race also. Although this was strictly against the rules of the "Credit Union Cup"- as it was then- John Smith told the officials that if they wanted to use his hill they had to let him ski the gates. Consequently, they allowed him to do so. His interest was peaked, and fueled by Trevor's involvement in racing. The following year, Jerry Erickson grouped Trevor and Michelle Palmier, and Mark and Dave together and took them to a few races as Independents under the umbrella of the Regina Ski Club.


Others joined the ranks, and the following year, the provincial ski association, always looking for new clubs, asked Jerry if he would consider hosting a race at Mission Ridge. A few years earlier, the Fort had formed a Cross Country Ski Club, and they allowed the downhill skiers to join their association, and thankfully were willing to assist in holding a downhill race. And so, somewhere around 1980, on a bitter cold day with a wind chill of about -30, our inexperienced group of parent helpers, with Jerry (also inexperienced) as coach and Chief of Race, did a great job of hosting their first race.


The team continued to grow in number. Murray Bedel, who had lost his arms in the early 70's, learned to ski as part of his rehabilitation, and competed favorably in the Serejevo Winter Olympics, agreed to be coach of this little band. His willingness and expertise helped move our skiers toward the achievements that followed. Andre Dickner later took over as coach, and under his able and committed leadership, Q.V.S.C. was the top club in the province in '86 and '87, and were third in '88. In addition, in '82, a group competed in the Winter Olympics in Prince Albert. A small number made the provincial team and participated in races across Canada.

Many clubs were surprised that our province, with no mountains, could generate skiers of such caliber; and at our racers first Western Canadian Downhill race at Banff, race officials jokingly told us they seeded the Sask skiers later in the race so the Alta and B.C. racers could flatten the hill a little for them.

Christie Erickson was top racer provincially and in the top 10 nationally, for 2 years. She and Dave competed in the Canadian Winter Games in Sidney, Nova Scotia (Cape Smoky) in '87. Erin Longfellow took a Bronze medal in Jr. Women's Slalom at Canadian Nationals in '91. Jungle Jim Hunter graced the provincial annual fun wind-up one year, and Dave Erickson was fortunate to race opposite him in the duals. Peder Ward was perhaps the longest standing member of the club, participating in races from about age 11 to 20.


Being a member of the Q.V.S.C. was a positive experience for the racers. They were part of a team,but were able to participate and compete at a level they were comfortable with-a facet not seen in most sports. They was great camaraderie not only within the members of our own club, but also with racers of all the clubs as they encouraged and congratulated each other on a race well run. Friendships also developed among the parents of the racers, as a social evening was held as part of each race week-end. John Smith as well as his son deserve a special thank-you for encouraging this sport by allowing the racers to set gates and practise on the hill. It has been encouraging to watch the club grow and expand, and to see, today, familiar faces as we, along with other grandparents and parents are out there watching second generation racers participate in the club's activities


Coaching 

Coaching is the cornerstone of our programs. All coaches have attained a minimum Level 1 certification from the Canadian Ski Instructors Alliance (CSIA) and/or the Canadian Ski Coaches Federation (CSCF). Some coaches of our more advanced programs have attained CSIA Level 2 and CSCF Level 2. The club provides opportunities for and encourages coaches to improve their technical and teaching skills by participating in annual on-snow seminars of the CSIA and CSCF and attending advanced certification courses. All coaches are also encouraged to attend QVSC's preseason mountain camp to work with our head coach and observe our upper level athletes.