Members of Red Squad are nominated to join the Yukon Ski Team in recognition of their excellent results achieved the previous season at the national level.
What Red Squad Offers
Red Squad provides its skiers with opportunities for personal growth in the sport of cross country skiing through training and competition. Head coach, Alain Masson, brings years of experience as an athlete and a coach to try and optimize each individual’s potential.
The Red Squad is a year-round program. Its emphasis is on preparing athletes for racing at the national or the international level.
In the spring, summer and fall the emphasis is on training. During this time there are two to four workouts per week as well as a number of training camps, which are between 2 to 7 days in length. These training camps are open to all Red Squad athletes and are an important part of the training program.
In the winter, the workouts increase to four to five per week. The focus of the program switches from training to competing. A number of time trials and other competitions are staged to provide all athletes opportunities to qualify for competitive meets outside of the Yukon Territory, including the Besh Cup race Series in Alaska, the Arctic Winter Games, the Canada Winter Games, the Western Canadian Championships, the Canadian National Championships, the World Junior Trials and other NorAm Races.
Some of the benefits for skiers nominated to the Red Squad are:
- Pre-selection to some of the Yukon Ski Team trips
- working on mental training with a sport psychologist
- improving technique and fitness and becoming a better skier
- training and racing with other athletes
- participating in training camps
- exposure to National level competition
Age Requirement and Fees
The minimum age requirement for Red Squad is 15 years old.
Team fees for the Red Squad skiers for the 2012-2013 ski season are $920 for skiers living in Whitehorse year round and $510 for skiers based outside of the Yukon.
There are also costs involved for training camps and competitions.
The team fees, as well as travel costs, can be offset by fundraising. Opportunities exist to raise money by fundraising. Furthermore, most ski equipment is available at cost through the team. In the past some athletes have been able to cover most of their team fees and expenses by fundraising.
For most training camps and races, a subsidy may be available through the grant applied for by Cross Country Yukon (CCY) to the Yukon Recreation Advisory Council (YRAC) or through other organizations. Top performing athletes may be eligible to receive High Performance Athlete Assistance funding which can range from $500 to $6000.
Nominations to Red Squad are done by Cross Country Yukon’s High Performance Committee in the spring each year. The High Performance Committee is a sub committee of Cross Country Yukon which makes recommendations on athlete nomination, trip selection criteria and coaches selection. Emphasis is placed on results at the national level as well as being a role model for the rest of the Yukon Ski Team. Skiers are nominated in April each year and they have a month to accept or decline their nomination.
For more information call Alain Masson at 334-9220. Alain is the Head Coach and Sport Coordinator for the Yukon Ski Team program.