Letter: Expense of Steamboat youth sports
As proud members of the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club Foundation and board of directors, and as long-time community members, we wanted to respond to the recent article published in the Steamboat Pilot & Today regarding the expense of youth sports in our community.
At SSWSC, affordability for our local families has always been a top priority as reflected in our mission statement: to create champions on and off the mountain by developing life skills and providing growth and leadership opportunities for children in our community through participation in sport. Our programs serve approximately 1,000 local youth each year. A primary goal for programming is to provide top quality — in coaching, personal development, facilities and with our training venues. We are proud to say that we stack up well in all of these categories.
In 2018, the club moved to an income-based fee schedule — an exciting and innovative approach that has allowed even more access to programming for our local children. We take pride that our fees are lower than most competing programs in our region.
We are humbled by the generosity we receive from our community partners and supporters who have steadfastly provided a substantial level of support for our local athletes. Approximately 44% of SSWSC families received scholarships in the 2019-20 season. Further, our program fees generally represent 60% of the actual costs of programming. In the past three decades, our supporters have provided millions in support of our local athletes and their families. There are countless examples and heartfelt stories of local families who received scholarships, providing wide access to programming from the most basic to the highest levels of their sport.
Additionally, we support providing access to snow sports to any child who wants to learn how to ski by offering free programming for up to 250 local youth each year through our local business supported community programs.
Whether an athlete wants to have fun on the hill with their friends, or strives for Olympic success, we provide high quality programming at a reduced price due to our generous supporters. We believe strongly that the time these young people spend training and competing instills in them a self-confidence and a set of values that will serve them well throughout their lives. The value of this is priceless. We are proud to be “Creating Champions on and off the Mountain.”
The SSWSC Board of Directors and The Foundation, SSWSC
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