Developers of a promising new aerobatic snow-sports program may have found a way to keep children safe on the hill, while instilling the confidence they need to become the next generation of champions. Air Kidz, using trampoline and gymnastic cross-training, is the first sanctioned program to teach kids to spin, flip and grab in a gymnastics environment to improve their acrobatic skills for snow.
“Innovative leadership in sport development is exactly what Oros Whistler Gymnastics Centre is all about and we are excited to host Air Kidz,” said spokesperson Sheila Mozes.
She added Air Kidz is a first step where sports work together to deliver programs for young athletes regardless of what sport organization they are in. “We are fortunate it will be in Whistler due to assistance from a RMOW Enrichment Grant, which supported the coach development and a subsidy for the athletes.”
Air Kidz is an opportunity resulting from the change to a combined acrobatic sport approach in coach and athlete development lead by CFSA Sport Development director, Meredith Gardner.
”Kids with really strong basics in trampoline and gymnastics have much better odds of being successful in competition and being safe doing air tricks in snowsports, so we are thrilled to work directly with Whistler Gymnastics to help the athletes develop those skills,” Gardner said.
The program is a joint initiative of the Canadian Freestyle Ski Association (CFSA) and Oros Whistler Gymnastics Centre, with support from a Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) Community Enrichment Grant.
Athletes age seven to 13 can sign up with Whistler Gymnastics for the eight-week fall session, Sept 21st to Nov.9. There will be an opportunity to try out the program at the Air Kidz Kickoff workshop Sept.14 fron 4 to 6 p.m.
The goal is to improve acrobatic skills and air sense in kids who wish to transfer these skills into snowboarding, skiing, acrobatic and trampoline sports in the off-season. Priority will be given to those already registered in snow sports and gymnastics clubs in the Sea to Sky corridor.
Throughout the summer, local coaches with snow-sport or gymnastic backgrounds have extended their training in National Coaching Certification Programs (NCCP) for Trampoline Gymnastics and CFSA Air 1 and Air 2. Heather Ross McManus, former Olympic trampolinist, and current master NCCP learning facilitator for both Gymnastics Canada Trampoline and The Canadian Freestyle Ski Association has lent her expertise in coach training.
Gardner recommends this program for youth registered in Snow School pre-competitive programs like Freestylerz, and any other competitive programs.
“Air Kidz will be a leg up for any young athletes who aspire to be strong in the Terrain Park, Moguls, or Cross snow-sports,” she said.
For more information contact Oros Whistler Gymnastics Centre at firstname.lastname@example.org