U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) is continuing to expand its focus on local USSA clubs being the delivery point for athlete development naming Brian Krill as Club Development Manager in its Sport Education Department. Krill has worked in education, competitive mountain athletics, and the nonprofit sector throughout his career, having served as Dean of Athletic Education at the Crested Butte Academy, Interim Director of the Crested Butte Snowsports Foundation and pioneer of Peak Nonprofit Consulting, LLC. He brings a broad background and resources related to education, competitive snowsports, business, nonprofit leadership and management and fundraising to the USSA team and the new Club Development Program.The Club Development Program has been created to recognize that a well organized and managed club is the key to a successful sports experience for club members.
Along with the USSA Sport Education team, Brian has developed a strategy that focuses on three key areas of snowsports clubs: education, certification and recognition.
"The clubs are our storefront and the way children around the country first get involved", Krill said. "We work with clubs to help develop kids from the entry level all the way to Olympic competition".
For the education pillar, the focus is to teach club leaders how to build organisations that focus on long-term athlete development. It is also important to balance character education and athletic performance and maintain a professional and educated coaching staff. This will have a major impact on getting and keeping youth engaged in snowsports.
The certification pillar will give clubs a comprehensive road map of the best principles and practices to follow including organisational, programme and assessment elements. The USSA will offer clubs bronze, silver and gold certification status to recognise performance in all areas.
The final pillar will focus on recognition. With more educated and certified clubs, the USSA will concentrate on gaining more exposure for clubs.. It is within this pillar that the Bring Children to the Snow campaign and its programmes FIS SnowKidz and World Snow Day will be utilised. The USSA will actively encourage its member clubs to develop FIS SnowKidz and World Snow Day events to bring children to the snow, while gaining recognition and turn-key marketing opportunities.
USSA also has a long-standing relationship with the National Ski Areas Association’s "Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month", and are excited to work with NBC to develop the "Gold Map" project which will help drive participation in snowsports clubs during this winter’s Sochi Olympic TV coverage.
"We have hundreds of great ski and snowboard clubs in the USA", Krill said. "The creation of a club development programme will bring together all the efforts of the clubs and provide them with clear goals. When discussing the recognition pillar, we were very happy to use the FIS SnowKidz and World Snow Day programmes. They are well structured, have clear goals, offer a lot of support and, best of all, are free to join. We look forward to our clubs staging FIS SnowKidz and World Snow Day events and bring children to the snow. In fact, involvement in these programmes is considered one of our best practices!"
The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) is the national governing body of Olympic skiing and snowboarding. It is the parent organization of the U.S. Ski Team, U.S. Snowboarding and U.S. Freeskiing. Developed to facilitate participation in national and international competition, the Olympic sports organization provides structure for competitive skiing and snowboarding. From grassroots programs to governance of sport, management of rules, competitions and athletic rankings, the USSA oversees athletic pipelines for development in the sports. With a vision to make the USA the best in the world in Olympic skiing and snowboarding, the USSA provides leadership and direction for tens of thousands of young skiers and snowboarders who share an Olympic dream while maintaining a strong adherence to core values. The USSA, established in 1905, operates out of the national training and education facility, the Center of Excellence, in Park City, UT.
Last winter the USSA undertook a self-study to determine how to partner more effectively with the USSA's 400+ clubs to deliver an optimal athlete development program and ensure Best in the World performance well beyond 2014.
The results of this study were compiled into a report and plan forward, which was adopted by the USSA Board of Directors at its May 19, 2013 meeting.