Head coach. Program Director. U14 Lead Coach.
They may be new titles for Rodger Poole, but they are all roles he understands well after a decade with the Vernon Ski Club (VSC). He replaces Andrew Lambert, who held those three key positions within the club.
“Andrew has brought coaching and leadership from the highest levels and intertwined them with amazing programs, a shift in culture and evolved the club into one that coaches, athletes and their families all feel welcome,” said VSC board member Lauren Carr. “The VSC would like to thank Andrew for his massive dedication to the roles of PD and Head Coach for the past two years. Lambert announced he was passing the torch at the end of last season with great consideration as to who his successor would be.”
Lambert will be right by Poole’s ski locker as the season gets going at Silver Star Mountain Resort.
“Ultimately, my goal was to leave the club in a better place than when I started,” said Lambert. “I began to work on a succession plan early in my time as PD. Rodger has developed a full skill set to take the Vernon Ski Club to the next level and brings an energy and passion to the club and to ski racing which is hard to beat. I have not encountered many coaches who have Rodger’s work ethic and professionalism. I’ll be around to ensure the transition goes well and am excited to continue to work as Lead U16 Coach under Rodger’s direction.”
Poole has been coaching and instructing skiing for the past 18 years and has worked for the Vernon Ski Club for the last 10 years, coaching athletes at all levels in the club. He has been heavily involved in the Vernon Ski Club dryland programs and has anchored the “Fast and Fit” program since its creation.
“I’m really looking forward to continuing to work with the athletes and the parents of Vernon Ski Club to create a culture of working hard toward goals and having fun in the process,” said Poole. “The combination of the incredibly capable and passionate staff and the supportive and dedicated families makes for an exciting place to be, for all involved.”
Poole has taken the lead on the Snow Sport Academy training program which started at the beginning of September. Bringing with him a strong technical skiing background, he is an Alpine Canada Development Level Certified Coach, Performance Level Trained and a Canadian Ski Instructors’ Alliance Level 4.
He welcomes the opportunity to lead with his experience, dedication and passion for skiing.
“The VSC is extremely fortunate to have both Lambert and Poole, along with many other highly skilled and qualified leaders, coaching its athletes from the start of their racing careers into the elite levels,” said Carr.
Summer break hardly saw these dedicated athletes poolside.
VSC U14s and U16s went on a five-day summer camp to Whistler to ski on the saddle T-bars alongside teams from Whistler and Banff Alpine Racers.
“We had some younger athletes on this camp and remarkably no one got lost, was late or forgot anything,” joked Lambert. “The team also tried out the ‘Escape rooms’ in Whistler. Unfortunately, they did not escape.”
The FIS athletes (U18s) went one of two camps either in Saas Fee (Switzerland) or La Parva (Chile) training the same terrain and even snapping some photos with four-time World Cup Champion Lindsey Vonn.
Conditions in La Parva were reportedly excellent and the Vernon athletes were able to get some great miles on hard snow.
Registration for VSC winter programming is now for all levels. An early registration discount of 10 per cent will be applied to registrations received before Oct. 31 for race programs (Race Tigers, U12/14/16/18 Race) and Nov. 30 for entry-level programs.
The annual Vernon Ski Club Ski Swap goes Saturday at the Vernon Recreation Center. Visit http://www.vernonskiclub.ca/ for more information and to register.