Members of the Wentworth Ski Racing Club got to check out one of the rooms in the new clubhouse, unveiled during a ceremony on Jan. 5. Murray Pridham photo

With more than 100 members of the Wentworth Ski Racing Club this season, a new clubhouse will accommodate more than ever.

The club celebrated the new 72’x16’ modular building with an opening ceremony on Jan. 5. Club president Karen Dwyer said about 100 people were in attendance.

“We had a great crowd,” she said. “We were really pleased. And we are really excited about the ability to enhance our program.”
Prior to 2010, the ski racing club didn’t actually have a clubhouse. Thanks to Ski Wentworth hosting events as part of the Canada Games that year, a building was erected.

“We have typically around 100 members, but we are over 110 now,” said Dwyer. “Traditionally, we had U8 (Under 8) to U18 (Under 18) athletes, and the U14 and above were the only athletes to use the former clubhouse. There wasn’t enough space for anyone else.”
With this clubhouse, which is about three times the size, more athletes can utilize the state-of-the-art facility, which was built and delivered in record time by Maple Leaf Homes.

“Now, the coaches can hold briefings, debriefings, video analysis,” said the president. “We have a staff of about 14 to 16 coaches, and now they can all be in the coaches room at the same time. Before, there wasn’t enough room for them all, but it is now.”

Dwyer said the U12 athletes are also using the clubhouse on a regular basis now as well.

“That promotes inclusiveness and a sense of pride in the athletes, and allows for more mentoring for the younger athletes with the older.”

The new clubhouse will enhance programming through the use of two learning centres with video analysis capability, with wifi provided by Seaside Communications. The club has also adopted new video analysis software through Sprongo, bringing them up to the same level as other race clubs throughout Canada and internationally.

The project budget was $102,000 and Dwyer said they remained on budget through the generosity of a private lender and Maple Leaf Homes. The club has launched a campaign to raise $50,000 to repay the private lender, and Dwyer said as of the opening of the new facility, they had raised about $18,500.

“We have a multi-faceted approach to raise that money,” she said.

Corporate sponsors have come on board with financial support. A silent auction and dance is set for March 2 at Ski Wentworth – the auction will run from noon until 10 p.m., with the dance running from 8 p.m. until about midnight. The dance is a 19+ licensed event, with the Hopping Penguins set to perform.

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched online for people who wish to make donations and can’t do so in person. It can be found at https://ca.gofundme.com/wentworth-ski-race-club.

An athlete-centered event – a 12-hour ski-a-thon – will be held at the ski hill on March 9 beginning at 8:30 a.m.

The club’s athletes come from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island. It was formerly the Halifax Ski Club, which was formed in the 1970s. The Wentworth Ski Racing Club was the recipient of the 2017 Support for Sport Association of the Year award.

Emily Todd, a 16-year-old member from Halifax, is representing the club and province at the Canada Games in Red Deer, Alta., Feb. 19-March 3.