HooDoo Hop­pers still hop­ping

The Drumheller Mail - - REAL ESTATE - Diane Thomas The Drumheller Mail photo sub­mit­ted

The HooDoo Hop­pers is a group of 8 young girls from Drumheller. The orig­i­nal group started years ago at the Bad­lands Ski Hill which was closed in 2010. The group now trains for free style ski­ing at Lake Louise which­has been their home base for train­ing since last De­cem­ber. They have been go­ing there ev­ery cou­ple of weeks. Last week­end, Fe­bru­ary 6 & 7, the Jeep Ju­nior Freeski 2016 Se­ries com­pe­ti­tion was held at Kick­ing Horse Moun­tain Re­sort, Golden. BC.

Par­tic­i­pat­ing were Amanda Hanik, Kiana Salvatore, Kiara Bertsch, Tavia Bertsch, Grace Brost, Ava Lund and Brooke Hanik.

Paul Salvatore, father of one of the com­peti­tors, ex­plained free ski­ing, “It is a dis­ci­pline where they go down on a de­fined course, stay within bound­aries, go­ing down a sec­tion of the moun­tain. They don’t have to go through gates, but they do have to use var­i­ous fea­tures such as jumps or some form of lit­tle trick or flour­ish they bring as they go down the hill. At their age, the types of fea­ture things that they are do­ing are not ex­treme. The older com­peti­tors are jump­ing off 20’ cliffs and do­ing 360’s.”

Salvatore con­tin­ued, Kick­ing Horse course “The was very steep and chal­leng­ing and the girls did very well. The girls did fan­tas­tic and this is a trib­ute to their coaches, Vince Low, Dave Hanik and Cam Bertsch.

Salvatore fur­ther ex­pressed, “There have been no in­juries and the girls are pretty re­silient. They are troop­ers. You would be amazed at the level of chal­lenge and dif­fi­culty, that they can tackle, it is quite re­mark­able.”

Coach Cam Bertsch said, “The girls all skied great in Satur­day’s qual­i­fy­ing run al- though it was a lit­tle chal­leng­ing with blus­tery winds, flat light and 25 cm of fresh snow. There were a few falls as th­ese con­di­tions were a new ex­pe­ri­ence for the girls, the Hop­pers haven’t had a lot of prac­tice ski­ing in fresh pow­der.

None the less, Tavia Bertsch, Kiara Bertsch, Kiana Salvatore and Amanda Hanik, in the 7-11 age group moved on to ski in the fi­nal 10 on Sun­day. The girls fin­ished in 10th, 8th, 7th and 5th. and Amanda Hanik had the best show­ing with her 5th place. The team’s next com­pe­ti­tion will be in Fernie on Fe­bru­ary 18-22. This com­pe­ti­tion is for ages 12 -18, with Katie Hanik be­ing the only girl who will be el­i­gi­ble to com­pete. The rest of the club will make the trek to Fernie to cheer Katie on as well as do some train­ing on new ter­rain.

The event staff rec­og­nized Hop­pers head coach Vince Low for the time he put into the club with lots of com­pli­ments on the kid’s ski­ing form and abil­i­ties.

HooDoo Hop­pers at Kick­ing Horse Moun­tain, l-r Kiara Bertsch, Katie Hanik, head coach Vince Low,

Grace Brost, and Amanda Hanik in front.

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