Message from NYSSRA president, Brad Rauch

Dear NYSSRA Members, 

As the days grow shorter we traditionally begin to turn our minds to the next season of ski racing across the state.  I’m sure this year many are just wondering how and who will be educating our children.   But as we think about skiing the equipment comes out of storage and we size up our athletes to see who has grown and who can get one more year out last years “stuff”.   

With the onset of COVID -19 that cut our season short last year, the NYSSRA Board has been busy throughout the summer with the appointment of a new Alpine Sports Director, Steve Mergenthaler,  a new Administrative Director, Alicia Farone, a new website (check out NYSSRA.org ) and continual work from our various committees (development, coaches and COVID-19) drafting plans, (A, B and C) that will help lay out what will no doubt be a different kind of ski racing season across New York State.

With much still up in the air as we await New York States directive on opening of the ski areas, questions remain, what will capacity be both on the hill and in the lodges and then how will areas handle these directives.  We have representatives sitting in on Ski Area of New York (SANY) meetings discussing this all.   This leaves NYSSRA to focus on what we can control and adapt to the conditions in which we will find ourselves as the season begins.   

Our Coaches Committee has been hard at work focusing on a standard of excellence for coaches across the state and ways to help educate our coaches through the use of video and what will likely be small group environments.   Our newly developed COVID -19 Committee has representatives from program directors, ski area management and professionals in the medical field discussing what the season may look like and the best way to work with everyone to have a safe and healthy environment for our programs and competitions.   

Guidelines from USSS and USSS East, which just this week announced a change in the USSS East events that will keep athletes more local and the cancelling of larger regional events will all have an effect on our state and the upcoming season.  While different, there are many positive aspects of this as we may be able to spend less time traveling and more time on snow locally working within councils on development and preparing our younger athletes with the skills they need for the future.

We have a strong team with solid representation across the state that will be communicating to our membership over the next few months as we begin to set our strategy and line for the course that is set for us.

Should you have any thoughts and concerns as always please do not hesitate to reach out to myself or your NYSSRA staff.

J. Bradley Rauch

President – NYSSRA – Board of Directors