Executive Director Update
Holiday Season Update
Well, it certainly has been a unique start to the 2020/21 season!! I am very pleased to say that our membership and program sign-ups have been in line with our expectations and that we were able to successfully commence our full programming on schedule on December 3rd! After everything we have all been through, I cannot tell you how fantastic it is seeing our club athletes up on the mountain ripping around!!
The number one objective since my last note and our kickoff video has been to get the season underway in compliance with the new WB and Public Health COVID guidelines.
The uncertainty and moving targets have put the club through incredibly demanding times and I would like to give special mention to Blanca, your head coaches (Conrad, Drew, Henry and Mat), Richard Jagger our Technical Director, Christine Cogger and Kevin for their tireless hours each has contributed towards our successful opening.
Critical issues impacting how the club would operate for the 2020/21 season have had to be resolved over the past several months. We were successful in many of our initiatives with the mountain and how best to operate throughout this unique season. A few examples of how we worked with WB to roll-out our programming are:
- Our ability to bypass the WB reservation system for the entire season for all ski days, not just Thurs-Sun, for all Athletes and Coaches.
- Our arrangements with WB for early load utilizing Fitz and Garbo lifts.
- Obtaining the approval of WMSC’s COVID protocols with WB in time for WMSC to open on schedule Dec 3rd, when the mountain was facing tremendous operating uncertainties and scrutiny of their own.
On behalf of the club, I would like to express my sincere thanks to the WB team starting with Geoff Buchheister COO WB, Doug MacFarlane and Cate Webster who have been tremendous partners throughout the entire process. We also must thank WB for installing new snowmaking on the lower part/finish area of the training center over the summer, which will allow for much better coverage in the early season!
I also want to say thank you to all members and athletes for taking the adaption of our new policies and procedures to heart, especially how we operate on the hill, as it is critical to our ability to continue to operate our programs. Masks, physical distancing, the daily health check, and early loads have now become part of our daily routine!
- We are fully staffed and are fortunate to have the majority of our coaches returning from last year. Retention and attraction of new coaches proves difficult each year in Whistler with the high cost of living and accommodations being the main deterrents.
- Programs have begun and there is no doubt everyone was excited to return to snow. It has been tremendous to see how well the Lead Coaches and Richard Jagger, our Technical Director, are working together to assemble the best possible programming for the season, under our current situation. Richard’s alpine racing experience and knowledge are a tremendous asset to the club, and we are thrilled to have him leading the tech side of our initiatives.
- New HH uniforms arrived and have been well received although we have had some sizing issues which we are working on resolving
- The training center has opened as planned on Dec 18th which is a big win for the club and the team.
- We have revamped the existing report card process to streamline the entire process for both the athletes and parents.
- We continue to seek alternatives for dryland as all the valley indoor facilities are currently closed or are too small for our programs. Zoom fitness and X-C skiing on Saturday are working at the moment. Other outdoor possibilities may include the Sliding Ctr and Whistler Olympic Park.
As the BC Alpine race schedule continues to be highly uncertain, we are planning on hosting three club races and three new activities (house-league time trials) for the athletes throughout the season, 6 in total. Skill assessments will run throughout the season as well. Dec 30th is our first planned Club individual timed environment for all to participate, stay tuned for details from your Lead Coach.
Will be scheduling a new member zoom call on Tues Dec 22nd to meet and greet all of you and answer the many questions we know new members have about the Club and its programs. New members check your inbox for the call details.
- The SWAP was a successful occasion held at the Fairmont Ballroom. Members appreciated the opportunity to both sell and buy equipment.
- Program Parent Zoom meetings took place late October; tremendous attendance for all programs including athletes.
- 2019/20 AGM was completed on Zoom in early November. Special thanks to our outgoing Chair John Legg for his tremendous dedication and significant contributions. We welcome Robert Toole as the new incoming Chair.
- Kickoff presentation/video was extremely well received, thanks to all that contributed and special mention to Conrad Pridy who was the executive producer of the production.
I would like to thank everyone for their patience as we work through all the challenges of these very unique times. I look forward to seeing everyone up on the mountain and I wish each of you and your families a safe and happy holiday season.