Wood River Abilities Programme hosts 10th Cross Country Skiing Development Camp

10 Jan 2011 By By Ipc

Wood River Abilities Programme (WRAP) will be hosting its 10th annual Cross Country Skiing Development camp 31 January to 6 February 2011. The camp will host athletes with a physical disability or visual impairment from across the country, looking to learn from some of the best Paralympic cross country skiing athletes and coaches in the U.S.

The camp is open to athletes of all ability levels, but participants typically have a background in endurance sports prior to trying their hand at Cross Country Skiing. Many previous attendees have gone on to excel in Cross Country Skiing or Biathlon and earned their way onto U.S. National or Paralympic Teams.

2010 Paralympic biathlon bronze medalist Andy Soule (Pearland, Texas) and 2010 U.S. Paralympic Team members Chris Klebl (Heber City, Utah), Monica Bascio (Evergreen, Colo.) and Greg Mallory (Portland, Ore.) are all distinguished alumni of the WRAP programme.

Recently retired from ski racing, Mallory reflects, "If it weren't for WRAP's camp, I would have missed out on seven fantastic years of racing on the U.S. Ski Team."

Several athletes from the U.S. National Team have returned to the WRAP Cross Country Development Camp to offer their services and support to the newer recruits, creating an on-going circle of development and mentoring in the Paralympic Cross Country Skiing community.

Working closely with national team coaches, development team coaches and military installations, camp participants have been recruited who have a variety of backgrounds. Attendees include injured service members, some who are brand new to the sport of Nordic skiing and some who have proven success in other endurance sports.

U.S. Biathlon has been so impressed with the quality of the WRAP development camp, that an official U.S. Paralympics Biathlon National Team camp will be held alongside the WRAP event.

"I'm really excited to be working so closely with WRAP and Executive Director Marc Mast," said Rob Rosser, U.S. Paralympics Biathlon National Team Coach. "I'm only in my second year of coaching the national team so I have a lot to learn and Marc has really expedited that learning curve. He has an enormous amount of experience and expertise; I'm just acting as a sponge and trying to soak up as much as possible. The fact that I'm a military veteran and an Olympian amplifies how much I appreciate and really enjoy his genuine enthusiasm towards enabling our wounded warriors and others to enjoy the sport I love."

This winter's development camp will host between six and 10 athletes. The camp is free to all participants and some scholarships are available for travel. The camp will be held at the same time as the Sun Valley Nordic Ski Town USA winter festival and will culminate with optional participation in the Boulder Mt. Tour 15km or 30km race.

For more information about the WRAP Cross Country Development Camp contact Marc Mast at [email protected]