Whistler Sliding Centre establishes British Columbia’s Sliding Development Centre - Recruitment, coaching, programming and administration now all in one hand

Whistler, BC: Starting this winter season, the Whistler Sliding Centre will manage all programming for luge, bobsleigh and skeleton. This will allow British Columbia’s provincial sport organizations, BC Luge and the BC Bobsleigh and Skeleton Association, to focus their energies on event hosting and fund raising. With this, the venue is establishing the “BC Sliding Development Centre” as the province’s umbrella for all levels of sliding programming, from novice to provincial team level.

The goal of this collaboration is to grow sliding sports in Western Canada through a targeted and unified approach. The BC Sliding Development Centre aims to provide sliding coaches year-round for provincial athletes, to outline a clear development pathway for athletes and parents, and to offer structured programs to increase provincial athlete conversion to the national team programs.

Lucinda Jagger, Sport Vice President of Sport Legacies, the operator of the Whistler Sliding Centre, is excited about the new engagement: “We will be able to provide permanent athlete support year-round. Our coaches and admin staff will lead our athletes, from total beginner to provincial level, through the different progression steps, and give them perspectives of how to achieve their goals.” Catering to all skill levels, the programming for the 2017/2018 season includes a newly developed school and university program for first-touch programming, as well as introductory ‘Discover’ clinics for all three sports throughout the season. Beginner and advanced athlete programming will be offered several times a week, as well as recreational club sliding.

Two high profile head coaches, who will be providing technical leadership for the programming, have been hired for bobsleigh and skeleton. The recently retired Canadian National Team Skeleton Racer, Cassie Hawrysh will take the lead for her discipline. In her active career, Cassie won the 2013/14 Canadian Championship title, two World Cup medals and had the honour of being nominated as the Canadian Alternate for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games. She also has a competitive background in volleyball and track and field. The head coach position for bobsleigh will be filled by Ryan Taal. The former athlete has been involved in bobsleigh for many years, and has represented Canada and the Netherlands on the North American Cup and on the World Cup level both as a pilot and brakeman. As a member of the forerunning group at the 2010 Whistler Olympic Games, Ryan has a special connection with the Whistler track. A head coach for luge will join the team in the coming weeks.

More information on the BC Sliding Development Centre and the programming is available online.