Ski Wentworth unveils new clubhouse
New building boasts media centre and a warm place for skiers to prepare before hitting the slopes
Gregor Byrne was just 16 when he strapped on skis for the first time.
Forty years later, he joined hundreds of fellow skiers to unveil the new Wentworth Ski Racing Club’s headquarters Saturday — and was nearly stampeded by a crowd of his eager students.
“For us it’s a touchstone for the kids, a place they can call home,” said Byrne, now a ski race coach. “The kids feel like they’re part of something bigger within these four walls and it helps us, in the development of the athletes. It’s people first and skiers and ski racers second.”
The new clubhouse will allow skiers to complete their warm-ups inside before hitting the slopes.
Instructors can use both TVs and computers inside the building as teaching aids for students, for example, by running videos of proper techniques. The coaches themselves also have their own meeting room.
For Byrne, it was a welcome upgrade from their old headquarters that the Wentworth Ski Racing Club simply outgrew.
He said the club presently had 112 dedicated ski racers and about 250 members in total, who visit Ski Wentworth’s slopes just off Hwy 4.
Wentworth members have skied for Canada for the Trofeo Topolino contest in Italy and also represented their club in the Whistler Cup. One other athlete raced in the Alpine World Cup.
“Most of our World Cup ski racers come out of Ontario — money drives ski races,” said Byrne. “We’re racing against people with deeper pockets sometimes, but we’re doing really well.”
What ultimately makes a good skier is not deep pockets but constant practising.
Under the watch of Byrne and his colleagues, a new generation of Nova Scotian athletes is gaining confidence by practising on the slopes of Ski Wentworth.
One young skier is 16-year-old Emily Todd from Halifax, who will be competing at the Canada Games in Red Deer, Alta., Feb. 19 to March 3.
The skiing itself will be at the Nakiska Ski Area, a resort similar to Wentworth, in the foothills of the Rockies.
“I hope to achieve top 10,” said Todd. “I think it’ll be really good for the club and will give us a lot of media coverage, because Nova Scotia has not won a lot of medals in skiing.”
For more information on the club, visit http://wentworthracing.com/.
Emily Todd is off to the Canada Games in Alberta next month. The 16-year-old skier is impressed with her club’s new home, which was opened at Ski Wentworth on Saturday.