Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Local athletes embrace Ski Academy

Enrollment climbs to 45 in new Community School program


By TERRY SMITH
Express Staff Writer

Jonna Mendes, a former Olympian and national champion ski racer, was at River Run Lodge last Friday signing autographs and promoting the new Sun Valley Ski Academy to enthusiastic young people. Mendes is now the Ski Academy director of recruiting. Photo by Willy Cook

Less than a year after its inception, enrollment has grown to 45 student-athletes in the new Sun Valley Ski Academy, a joint venture founded by the Community School and the Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation.

Forty-one of the enrollees are Wood River Valley residents, indicative that local kids and their families are embracing the new program, where studies and athletics are coordinated to help youngsters excel at both endeavors.

The remaining four were recruited from outside the area and are living this year at the new Community School Residence Hall in Warm Springs.

An earlier criticism of the Ski Academy was that local athletes might feel slighted by intensive efforts at outside recruitment. Jonna Mendes, recently hired as the Ski Academy's director of recruiting, said Tuesday that local youngsters and their families seem to be realizing that bringing in outside athletes will lead to "new friendships and new competition" and offers new ways for all athletes involved to improve their skills.

"It's just a big push to help the kids in the valley to make everyone stronger, and I think they're beginning to appreciate that," said Mendes, a former Olympian and national champion ski racer. "Here in the valley, people are really excited about it."

The Ski Academy was founded last winter to help student-athletes excel at both skiing and schooling. The program is open to students at least 13 years old who are involved in downhill, cross-country or freestyle skiing or snowboarding.

While the majority of the new enrollees were already Community School students and Ski Education Foundation athletes, enrollment in the Ski Academy is intended to allow them to better coordinate studies with athletic training and competition.

Ski Academy Executive Director Steve Shafran, a former Ketchum city councilman, said how well the coordination works will be tested this winter as competitive events across the United States get started.

"This is the hard work now," Shafran said. "The race season's just getting underway. As January unfolds, the coaches and the parents and the teachers will hopefully find that the process is working better than it did before."

<




About Comments

Comments with content that seeks to incite or inflame may be removed.

Comments that are in ALL CAPS may be removed.

Comments that are off-topic or that include profanity or personal attacks, libelous or other inappropriate material may be removed from the site. Entries that are unsigned or contain signatures by someone other than the actual author may be removed. We will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or any other policies governing this site. Use of this system denotes full acceptance of these conditions. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions. You are fully responsible for the content that you post.

The comments below are from the readers of mtexpress.com and in no way represent the views of Express Publishing, Inc.

You may flag individual comments. You may also report an inappropriate or offensive comment by clicking here.

Flagging Comments: Flagging a comment tells a site administrator that a comment is inappropriate. You can find the flag option by pointing the mouse over the comment and clicking the 'Flag' link.

Flagging a comment is only counted once per person, and you won't need to do it multiple times.

Proper Flagging Guidelines: Every site has a different commenting policy - be sure to review the policy for this site before flagging comments. In general these types of comments should be flagged:

  • Spam
  • Ones violating this site's commenting policy
  • Clearly unrelated
  • Personal attacks on others
Comments should not be flagged for:
  • Disagreeing with the content
  • Being in a dispute with the commenter

Popular Comment Threads



 Local Weather 
Search archives:


Copyright © 2019 Express Publishing Inc.   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy
All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited. 

The Idaho Mountain Express is distributed free to residents and guests throughout the Sun Valley, Idaho resort area community. Subscribers to the Idaho Mountain Express will read these stories and others in this week's issue.