Limitless – A Kid’s Ambition By Lillian Grant

Limitless – A Kid’s Ambition
By Lillian Grant

It’s cold outside. The leaves are pretty well toast. Brown, crisp and with their own distinct aroma. Retailers have started shamelessly advertizing for the holiday season. Around my house, that means the ski wax is out and our son’s yearning to get on the hill is unharnessed. It’s game on. At ten years old, he has found his passion. Something that some adults I know have yet to discover. I have mixed feelings about this.

We live on the West Coast where sport is abundant twelve months of the year. Of all of the sports we have placed on his platter, soccer was abandoned, tennis is just for fun, and cycling is just a way to get to school. Skiing stuck ever since his first foray into powder at 14 months. Dipped intermittently into fresh powder on plastic toddler skis by the love and strength of his father’s back, this was it.

Fast forward to year five of organized club racing. He’s found his tribe and has some significant wins under his belt, and shows some natural talent that, if nurtured, could give him every opportunity to keep going. Have his grades and behavior at school been in line with house policy that you can’t have one without the other? If we were in a court of law I’d have to admit no. But how do you squelch the light in your child’s eyes if he’s not racking up straight A’s? While the odds are against the vast majority of people who try to make sport their profession, in skiing where races are won and lost by 100ths of a second, this arena is exponentially more unrealistic to achieve excellence.

If we weren’t encouraged to pursue our passions within the confines of our own home, there is plenty of encouragement at school, in the media, and certainly from manufacturers of sporting goods. Mr. X Jr. (MXJ), whom I will refer to my son as, has his encouragement from all angles. He comes by his enthusiasm honestly having a father who ditched university in his twenties to race internationally for Britain. Like the 99.9% of aspiring athletes who don’t make it to the top 0.01% who are good enough to rank internationally, and eventually get paid to do what they consider playing, he returned to complete his education as an adult and went on to pursue a career in business.

Good example in-house, I feel justified ranting about making education a priority and how skiing is a privilege not a right. I have approached my motherly fan club with moderation and caution. I have baked a ski hill birthday cake complete with race gates and ski lift; I have created a special place to showcase his medals and achievements; I endorse purchases of costly fees and equipment. I have also initiated a policy that, in agreement with my husband, lays down the law that if school work and behaviour is not up to snuff, then there’s no white stuff.

I have been astounded and impressed with the commitment of these ski club kids as they train to stay fit during the summer with dryland training, and spend more than half the week during the winter months putting miles under their skis to have just a handful of chances during the year to explode out of a starting gate and pick a better line than the kid before him. I have no doubt that the balance of skiing and school are the subject of discussion in every other ski club household. Pretty intense when you consider pbj’s are still in their top ten food choices. The technical savvy, the mental balance and the tenacity to keep afloat in this sport is daunting. And MXJ seems to feed off of it.

Resolved to continue to encourage my budding athlete, I talk a pretty good game and wield what I hope is some authority in the sketchy household “no snuff, no white stuff” bylaw, but I have yet to enforce this in a way that has real meaning. At time of writing, I’m still mesmerized by MXJ’s dreams of becoming a racer and his bare palette on which he paints his hopes and dreams. Even if he doesn’t know the statistics and logistics of the road only a few will be privileged enough to walk, isn’t it only fitting to allow him to indulge while he is not jaded and weighed down by all of the adult considerations that might shatter his ambitions? Hey, I’m not saying I know the answer with certainty, but my gut says let him dream. So for now, until I have VIP access to the family seats at Kitsbuhel, I’m pretty sure the thing to do is let him sow his seeds and supply enough sunlight and fertilizer. If he’s forty and living in our basement with no job, I’ll let you know. Until then, his ambition remains limitless.

1st Alpine Athletic Champion U16 Challenge held on Oct. 20

This event, held for the first time is aimed at testing the fitness of U16 racers from the Coast Zone. Our club participated with 7 racers, 5 boys and 2 girls. U16 racers this season are those born in 1998 and 1999.
Our racers performed to the best of their abilities, and clearly the hard work during the summer is starting to pay off.
Within the girls, Cheyenna Gubana and Mariya Fedoroff finalized 13 and 14 among 19 participants. Definitely still work to do.
Among the boys, Peter Konigsmann and Nicholas Sommers finalized 6 and 7, with Michael Reid a close 9, in a field of 16 racers. An important detail is that these 3 athletes were the first in their year of birth. Congratulations!!!
Matthew Kuzek finished 14 and Dylan Curtis 16.

So, high five to all that participated, certainly a strong show from our club.

To learn more about the Alpine Athletic Challenge go to

New Head Coaches for U16 and U12 this coming season

In our club’s continuing effort to deliver a program of excellence, we have hired two outstanding professionals to head the U16 and U12 programs.

Gavin Preziosi has been on skis for many years, and has been coaching since the year 2000. Gavin is a Level 3 certified CSCF Alpine Coach, a Level 1 Park and Pipe coach and a Level 1 Skier Cross coach.
His expertise is U16, having been the Head Coach for this group at Sunshine Ski Club, before moving to Vancouver. Prior to that, Gavin spent two seasons as Program Director and Head Coach of Alpine Saskatchewan.
Gavin is a dedicated coach and we are sure our U16 athletes will thrive under his guidance.

Mark Anderson’s racing experience is quite impressive, having made it all the way up to Canada National Speed Team. But foremost is Mark’s expertise and knowledge in coaching the U12 group which he has been coaching for 11 seasons. His rapport with kids is impressive, and his technical eye is very refined. Mark is fully committed to deliver the best coaching to each racer. Having coached at Whistler Mountain Ski Club, Mark knows what it takes to create passionate and technically skilled young racers.

So we welcome Gavin and Mark to our team. In conjunction with Andrzej Lawnik in the U14 group, we are sure we will be able to create the pathway needed to create hard working, committed and proficient skiers within our club!!!

AGM, Welcome Back BBQ and Trunk Sale

Hi Cypress Families!!

Mark your calendars and gear up for the Cypress Ski Club AGM, Welcome Back BBQ and Trunk Sale on Sunday, October 27th !!!

– Learn about what’s new in the Club and nominate members for the Board (including yourself!)
– Pop up your trunk and Buy/Sell your ski gear and clothing (any outgrown team jackets?)
– Make new friends and get to know other members
– All athletes (of any age!) bring athletic gear – there will be fun sporting events to participate in!

This is a very important event for our Club so please make every effort to attend. Bring the whole family for a FREE afternoon of FUN!!

WHERE: Cypress Ski Club Cabin
WHEN: Sunday, October 27th
12:00-12:45 AGM
1:00-4:00 Free BBQ
1:00-4:00 Ski Swap
1:00-4:00 FUN sporting events

As part of Cypress Ski Club’s commitment to being active in the community, we ask that you bring a non-perishable food donation for the Fall Food Bank Drive. This is in lieu of paying for the BBQ. Thank you!

Let’s get together and make this an exceptional year – We will need the support of all members to make this happen!!!

to Susan Horne so we can estimate how much food to prepare (We would also love volunteers so email us if you can help out!)

Our Club at the 2013 West Van Pumpkin Festival

It was a gorgeous day yesterday at the Pumpkin Festival. In our continuing effort to make the Club known to the community, we participated in this event that is held annually at the West Vancouver Community Center. It is indeed a great opportunity to make our club known to people. Young families attended and many children were there having fun.
We were able to answer questions and we hope to get some children join the club.

A big thank you to all the volunteers that contributed in this event!!

Summer 2013 activities update

Summer is fast leaving us, and it has been an eventful one. The club has gained new momentum, organizing its own dryland and on snow camps, with great success. It is of paramount importance that athletes participate and become part of a stronger club. We are certainly on the right path to regain our strength and continue on our pursuit of excellence.

Below there is some info on our summer activities so far:

“Hi everybody,

thank you to all the athletes and their parents who showed up to our dryland sessions and/or participated in our July Glacier Camp in Whistler. It’s been great to see so many of you! That for sure is a really good sign before next winter season and promises further expansion and growth of our Club in general.

In our drylands we focused on developing the general components of athletic performance related to alpine skiing such as coordination, endurance, strength, speed and flexibility.
Starting in Spring there have been 2 sessions a week: Thursdays at Ambleside Park and Saturdays at the Capilano Rugby Club. There are only 2 more sessions left in August scheduled for the 8th and 11th.

And then there is Mt.Hood camp. We are going to train for 10 days on and off the snow.

We return to our regular dryland programm in the middle of September.

There will be 3 sessions per week, on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. In addition, there is a gymnastics session planned to be held at West Vancouver Community Centre. This will be available at an extra fee and to a limited number of athletes.The details concerning the possibility of signing up your child will be announced shortly.

Hope you are enjoying your summer time!’


“HI All,

I hope that you are enjoying the beautiful summer weather and that you are staying active throughout the clear sunny days, whether you are here in Vancouver or away on your vacation.

Some of our athletes just got back from Glacier Camp on Blackcomb Mountain where for six days in a row they trained hard from early mornings till afternoons on great firm conditions up on the glacier, on and off the course. Thanks to BC Alpine we had a chance to train with two members of the Canadian Ski Team – Morgan Pridy and Sasha Zaitsoff – who skied one day with our athletes individually, giving them some invaluable tips! You can watch some of the runs we have done with them on website

Afternoons were devoted to dry land sessions.Wanting to keep the kids interested, we introduced something new and unexpected almost everyday. One day, we trained with the above mentioned Canadian Ski Team athletes, some other day hiked to the Loggers lake where the kids had a chance to jump in the water. We also had two days devoted to jumping on the trampolines at Whistler Bounce. In between skiing and dryland, there was time for relaxation, which is also a very important part of the training.
I hope that next year more of our athletes will join us in this fantastic opportunity which training in the summer up on a glacier for sure offers, particularly considering how short the distance from Vancouver to Whistler is. It is very important to not to lose touch with snow in summertime.