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USSX president’s address to the US Ski Cross community

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We believe that you are truly passionate about the future of ski cross in the United States. So are we. This is why we want to connect, share our recent developments that may impact the development of US ski cross and get your feedback on what we should do next. It is self-evident that today US ski cross is behind Europe and Canada in numbers of athletes in race teams and in athletes’ performances at international competitions. In 2015 we have founded United States Ski Cross with the goal to improve on both of these weaknesses. Since then USSX has been actively assisting selected athletes and coaches with informational and financial support, helped to organize events, and also created a consolidated program for development of ski cross in the USA. The program was presented to USSA at the annual summit in Park City and reviewed again more recently during our visit to USSA last September. This program contains comprehensive training manuals for athletes and coaches of various experience levels, safe competition course design guidelines based on the racer experience level, winter/summer exercise plans, etc. Strong emphasis is placed on the grassroots initiative, bringing new athletes to the sport. USSA recognized our efforts and provided positive evaluation for the program. We outlined future engagement strategy and opportunities to collaboratively work together. One good reference model for collaboration is currently exercised by USA Nordic. There are many benefits to be a specialized organization focusing all efforts on core competencies. We believe this could be the most viable operational model for USSX as well. USASA also have been our strong supporter. And we have plans to offer our SX-1000 and SX-2000 ski cross training programs to be taught by USASA. Here are a little more details on what’s going on right now: As you know, USSX is a nationwide organization dedicated to the development of ski cross in the United States. Our goal is to create an easy-to-follow structure of this sport for everyone who is involved. And to build a pipeline for the athletes and coaches from the beginners level all the way to the Olympics. That is why we created those manuals and the educational programs (some of the program materials can be found on ussx.org). We are also willing to help this sport and athletes, in particular, to raise funds and find good sponsorship. USSA nor USASA does not have the ski cross specific educational programs. We applied to both organizations and asked them to utilize our programs. This September I’ve been told by the USASA officials that they would be glad to include our SX-1000 and SX-2000 content to their educational programs. Late September we went to Park City for the meeting with USSA officials. We discussed how we can continue the growth of SX in the USA all together, what steps should we take, how USSX can help and so on. In the conclusion of this meeting, we agreed that it would be mutually beneficial if USSX could go the same path that the USA Nordic just went. FYI: USA Nordic became a National Leadership Organization for Ski Jumping and Nordic Combined. They are a USSA affiliated institution while USSA is still the governing body for those sports. But at the same time, USA Nordic got the following privileges and responsibilities: 1. Developing sport in the best interest of the sport community 2. Managing the National Team 3. Conducting all the events including FIS (under USSA umbrella), etc. All of the above mentioned gave USA Nordic the freedom to act in the best interest of the sports community, find the best sponsorship for their athletes, promote their sports and involve more kids in it (and many more positive things). USSX and USSA, both believe that following the same path would be the very best of what can be done for US ski cross. At USSX we are trying to develop the sport and help each particular athlete, coach, and club to be the best they can. And right now we are building the team of like-minded people to do it together. Today we have a unique opportunity to unite the ski cross community and involve all contributing members to make a real impact on the future of the sport in the United States. We reach out to you to join forces and together achieve the grand vision of growing Olympic skicross champions. We truly value any feedback you can offer us. And so we ask you to please get back to us and provide your ideas and suggestions for the most efficient path to accelerate the growth of skicross in the United States. We look forward to hearing back from you!

Roller kids

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This summer, USSX launching a one of a kind in the US inline skating program -“ROLLER KIDS”!
Want your kids to stay active, have FUN and spend more time outside during this Summer Break

“Roller Kids” is a program designed for children from 6 to 16 years of age residing in the Metro Denver area. The purpose of the program is to attract school-age children to the sport by involving them in inline skating during the summer break.

This will benefit:

  • Kids: healthy lifestyle; increased physical activities; a lot of fun; enjoy more time with fellows; an increase of self-esteem; development of life-long physical skills and activities; great aerobic workout; the potential for continuing in the sport
  • Parents: engaging in a healthy lifestyle; great example of a lifetime family activity; more free time
  • Schools: good option to ensure the health of the students; a chance to teaching students to life-long activities that kids can do outside of school and that they can do for the rest of their lives; increase activity time for students; organized sports activity, an alternative to traditional gym classes
  • Homeschoolers: great opportunity for homeschool kids to receive a physical education as well as to be involved in the kids’ community activities
  • Community: healthier community; fewer overweight community members; kids will more likely grow into healthy and capable adults
  • Sponsors: a positive image of the company; additional marketing and advertising opportunities; potential to obtain new customers

The program will be conducted at the public parks located in Metro Denver area and at the Elementary and Middle schools outside facilities.

It will take place three times a week during two months of a summer break  – June 6th –August 5th, 2018. The duration of each lesson will be up to 2 hours. The exact schedule and location to be announced.

Your support of this program (financial or volunteer) will be GREATLY APPRECIATED! Please, give us a call at (541)350-2756 for more information or send an email to olga@ussx.org.

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With over 20 years of experience owning and managing a ski resort, as well as 14 years of experience in organizing ski cross racing programs for athletes from age 3 to World Cup winners, I distilled key factors which allowed my Resort to not only survive, but to become highly successful in its development dynamics, attract young people and convert them to regular customers.

I absolutely agree with President of NSAA Michael Berry who said: “Without an industry-wide effort focused on attracting newer, younger participants and converting them into loyal skiers and riders, ski areas could face dramatic declines in visitation in the not-so distant future.” Hence, it is in our best interest to apply new strategies to attracting and retaining young new athletes.

I would like to introduce you to proven methods that can convert new generations into long-term (and potentially lifelong) participants at your resort.

Surely you have noticed the flash of popularity of Terrain Base Learning programs. Yes, it is attracting new customers to the program and makes them come back again. But this game also has an exciting continuation with far-reaching possibilities.

In 2010 in Vancouver, BC a new level of alpine skiing – Ski Cross – was introduced for the first time in Olympic Games. It brought colossal entertainment for spectators, combining a high level of skiing skills and knowledge with absolute honesty in identifying winners:  the first at the finish line is the winner.  Advanced Ski Resorts in Europe and Canada immediately decided to adopt it for public skiing and began to create ski cross courses for public use. And they were spot on, as Resort’s Visitors were now able to have a new experience, without the risk of large Big Airs, without increasing the speed, without the risk of riding off-slope, and while at the same time receiving almost unlimited horizons for improvement.

This is the yellow level ski cross courses (classification United States Ski Cross (USSX)). Their distinctive feature is that almost all of the obstacles are below the knee in height and have a speed limitation either with steepness of slope or due to course configuration. This is a safe and fun option for adult skiers as well as for kids. It requires much less snow and working hours to build a yellow level ski cross course than a terrain park, but the visitor numbers are increased multifold. Customers experience additional emotions of thrill, similar to those felt at amusement parks such as Disney World or Six Flags.

 How can ski cross yellow level courses benefit your Ski Resort?

1. Ski schools programs can be adjusted to focus on teaching proper overcoming of terrain features.  This will attract to the ski schools new visitors who have never applied for this service before. There are already ready-to-use training program for instructors in the open source.

2. Organizing Ski cross events for the public. These events create a lot of emotions in participants and the audience. These competitions use simplified ski cross rules and attract even more customers to ski schools. In addition, your Resort can apply to host series of such events and become a part of national competition among ski cross amateurs. In this case, the winners of your events will have a chance to continue onto the next round and perform at the Amateur National finals.

3. If your Resort already has a race team, ski cross is a possibility for it to develop in a new direction. Ski cross is an Olympic sport and today it can become a logical continuation of the classic alpine ski program. This makes it possible to increase the number of students who wish to have more variety and novelty in training.

4. Hosting ski cross races attracts advertisers from local businesses to international corporations. Proper operation in this direction invariably leads to additional profits. You can conduct your own events or become a host of one of the USSX National series of ski cross events.

I would like to confirm my words with some key facts of international ski cross courses.

  • One of the biggest car manufacturers, Audi became a title sponsor of Ski Cross World Cup in 2011. Later on they organized Audi Ski Cross Tour and Ski Cross Kids Tour throughout Europe and consequently created 7 Audi Ski Cross Parks at major European ski resorts. Since they have gained major popularity with families and kids, they intend to further expand this network.
  • The last season of X-Games included ski cross in its program.
  • Number of children involved in ski cross in Europe and Canada is growing significantly.
  • The television broadcast of ski cross has a leading rating among other ski disciplines.

We made a huge effort and did a lot of work to create for you the most convenient, understandable and accessible information resources for implementing ski cross at your resorts. We prepared a number of programs for training athletes at all levels of skill and experience to supply you with all necessary resources for the development of ski cross on your Resort.

We are United States Ski Cross (USSX) and we will be happy to answer any of your questions.

If you are interested to receive more information, please contact me personally at sergey@ussx.org

Faithfully yours,

Sergey Khlop

President United State Ski Cross (USSX)

http://ussx.org/

sergey@ussx.org

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