Hundreds of people supporting a few individuals reach their goals!
The Rocky Mountain Racers Club, out of Calgary Alberta that trains largely in the Bow Valley was formed in the 90’s by concerned/involved parents who wanted a training center approach to skiing and biathlon. The desire was to have a club that could provide everything needed for athletes to succeed at the highest international levels, with a focus on those transitional athletes, who are finishing up high school and going on to university.
Head Coach, John Jacques says that the club’s goal is to create well-trained athletes that are solid citizens and great ambassadors of a sporting lifestyle. One of the main focuses for the club is to support the concept that athletes should be combining education (life) with sport.
John, who has been Head Coach for the last 10 years, describes that when he was approached by the club to be the Head Coach, he accepted on the basis that he would be allowed to put the athletes first. He says, “My inspiration comes from a passion for sport and the desire to see athletes succeed in both sport and life. Seeing their eyes light up when they have earned success after working hard – it’s very rewarding to be part of that journey with them.” He says the impact of working with these athletes, as they mature both athletically and as young adults, has provided far too many memorable experiences to pick just one.
RMR have helped the 24 HOA group a few times now, in 2014 the club will be back to support the event kit pick up – they have always been able to get both athletes and key volunteers motivated to do whatever task is presented. The manner in which it happens is such a tremendous demonstration of teamwork that it is hard not to have fun doing it – it goes from being a job to a satisfying experience where the outcome is a job well done. John says “it may sound odd; but to me having the 24 HOA ask us to help out is very much to our benefit in that we are now able to put something back into the sporting community – the individuals involved learn so much about volunteering and what it means, that it becomes a solid life lesson for everyone involved.”
Tell us a little about your team?
Well, we are a group of friends, some of us are Moms, all of us are professionals by day, and addicted endurance athletes in our free time. Here’s the team:
Liza Pye – physical therapist, adventure racing expert, from Canmore
Luwanna Douce – massage therapist, Mom of two boys, from Canmore
Sarah Nossiter – lawyer, originally from Australia but now from Calgary
Francis Vice – pathologist, Mom of two, from North Vancouver
Martha Handford – technical writer and cycling coach, Mom of one, from Canmore
All of the team members volunteered as ride leaders for the Fast and Female women’s ride event a few days before the race. It is always good to get out with a big group of women on MTBs and encourage and inspire them to ride more!
SPOTLIGHT ON RMR CLUB ATHLETE
Emma Lunder – Biathlete
Emma is a 23-year-old National Team member Biathlete. She joined the RMR club 4 years ago when; her hometown (Vernon, BC) club was shutting down due to lack of funding. She chose Canmore because it’s known as the biathlon capital of Canada, and hasn’t looked back.
Emma was attracted to the club because of its support of athletes not only around achieving their athletic goals but also in achieving their academic goals too. She feels like the club is more then a community of like minded people, it’s also like a family. She has made life long friends with people that she would never have had the opportunity to interact with, if it wasn’t for the club.
Tell us about what being part of RMR has meant to you:
“When I first joined the club, being from BC, I didn’t really know many athletes but right away I felt welcomed and part of the group. I remember one long hike that we all went on in those early days, I was new and not that comfortable, and even though it was a really challenging hike, the group was chatting and telling stories the whole time. They also took the time to include me, at every point. When we got to the parking lot and I looked at my watch, I couldn’t believe that 4 hours had flown by so quickly.”
What is it like being a member of this group?
“They’re so supportive and encouraging of everyone and of every goal that you may have. I moved onto another group last year, because I made the National Team, and wasn’t able to be a part of the group that I had trained with the previous year, but they all are still so supportive of me. Everyone is so excited about seeing you take the next step in achieving your dreams, it feels like a family.”
How has being part of the club changed you?
“When I joined the club four years ago, I was fresh out of high school, so part of the growth has come from just growing up but I do feel like I have grown more confident because of the support I’ve gotten through the club. I’ve always been outgoing and bubbly and I think that I’ve been able to share that with others in the club and as they’ve rubbed off on me, I’ve rubbed off on them. I think I’ve learned something from every person, all the different personalities, all the different strengths and talents that I’ve been exposed to have taught me a lot.”
What are you current goals?
“Every year I want to improve but my long-term goal is to make the Olympics. I’m also enjoying coaching the younger athletes and I really like being an ambassador for the sport, showing 12 and 13 year olds how great biathlon is and seeing our sport grow.”
For more information visit www.rockymountainracers.com