PARK CITY, UT (May 13) – America’s most talented young ski and snowboarding athletes are getting the chance to train under the direction of one of the world’s best this summer as they are invited to participate in Project Gold camps headed by U.S. Snowboarding’s Bud Keene.
Keene, who is U.S. Snowboarding’s legendary freestyle national development coach, serves as the head coach for Project Gold, a development camp for elite junior athletes. The camp is split into two divisions – Project Gold, which targets the 13 – 18 age group and Project Junior Gold, which focuses on the 9 – 13 age division. This year’s camp will host its traditional snowboardcross, alpine snowboarding and snowboarding halfpipe athletes, as well as athletes from the Junior World Championship skier halfpipe and ski cross teams.
“This is an opportunity for the best young riders in the country to get together and train. That synergy develops into a strong group of teammates that will take their sport to the next level,” says Keene. “It can all be summed up in one word – progression. I’ve seen all these kids ride, but I do have coaches all over the country informing me on a year-long basis who has been riding and progressing at a different level than the rest of the group. Each one of these kids is a standout.”
To say that receiving an invite to a Project Gold camp is highly competitive may be an understatement. It’s one of the world’s most exclusive camps for junior athletes. The selection criteria is based on coach’s discretion performances during the Jan. 1 through April 31, 2010 time period. During that period, eligible riders placed in either the top two or four of their respective events, or overall standings, in the Race for the Cup alpine series, Revolution Tour halfpipe standings, and the NorAm SBX standings. Skiers were invited based on making the Junior World Championship Teams.
From sun up to sun down, athletes will be critiqued, motivated, and pushed to progress in all areas of their sports. The camp also goes beyond the snow, with mandatory classroom video reviews to dissect each rider’s technique, allowing them to focus on specifics during the on-mountain training sessions.
“It’s a huge accomplishment to be invited to this camp,” says Keene. “It’s an opportunity to really excel and take a lot home. It’s also important to have fun because that’s what this is all about.”
A handful of the 40+ riders invited to the Project Gold camps will be repeat invitees. Others will be attending for the first time as they look to draw the attention of the U.S. Snowboarding coaches by their work ethic and attitude.
Project Gold will be held May 17 – 24 and Project Junior Gold May 26 – June 2. Both camps will be held at Mammoth Mountain, CA.