Image Credit: U.S. Ski & Snowboard

The Kelly Brush Foundation and U.S. Ski & Snowboard have teamed up to create a new alpine competition and safety consultant position to serve as a national resource regarding issues of safety in alpine ski racing. The alpine competition and safety consultant will provide guidance and share best-practices that ski clubs can implement to improve safety for athletes as they compete and train.

The Kelly Brush Foundation and U.S. Ski & Snowboard have retained Paul Van Slyke of Lake Placid to be the first alpine competition and safety consultant. He will be a resource for both organizations, specifically providing guidance to the Kelly Brush Foundation and to U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s alpine community. Van Slyke has more than 30 years experience in alpine sport as an event organizer, program director, coach and official. He presently serves as an International Ski Federation (FIS) technical delegate (TD) commissioner representing U.S. Ski & Snowboard with the FIS. Van Slyke has served as a competition jury member at competitions ranging from Olympic Winter Games, World Cups, and NorAm Cups to grassroots alpine racing competitions in New York and Vermont.

The new role of alpine competition and safety consultant will help produce educational resources and provide guidance on safety and venue improvement practices. The Kelly Brush Foundation and U.S. Ski & Snowboard are committed to supporting programs, coaches, and stakeholders at all levels of the sport with the resources they need to provide elite venues for their athletes. The position is jointly funded by U.S. Ski & Snowboard and the Kelly Brush Foundation with help from a grant by the Killington World Cup Committee.

“This partnership will allow us to address some of the concerns we hear from programs and venues around the country,” said Zeke Davisson, executive director of the Kelly Brush Foundation. “Together with U.S. Ski & Snowboard we will be able to provide the resources to programs, coaches, officials, volunteers, parents, and racers at all levels of alpine ski racing more effectively than either organization could do alone.”

The Kelly Brush Foundation was founded after Kelly Brush suffered a life-changing spinal cord injury while ski racing. The foundation is committed to protecting the next generation of skiers from experiencing avoidable injuries. The Kelly Brush Foundation provides grant assistance to ski racing venues in order to buy B-netting and other safety equipment as well as undertake venue safety improvement measures such as trail widening.

Tiger Shaw, president and CEO of U.S. Ski & Snowboard, was a major advocate for the new position and helped to develop the responsibilities of the alpine competition and safety consultant within the alpine community.

“We are proud to work with the Kelly Brush Foundation to create the alpine competition and safety consultant position,” said Shaw. “Paul will be a resource for venues around the country, helping to drive the message that while our sports are inherently dangerous, we can still take steps to minimize risk while creating the best possible environment for our athletes to succeed.”

“This is an outstanding opportunity for our sport to reach a deeper audience in educating about alpine safety,” said Van Slyke. “This relationship will allow us to engage programs, organizers, coaches and resorts as a resource to provide education and awareness about best practices in alpine safety.”

Release from U.S. Ski & Snowboard

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