Young skiers enjoy runs at Powderhorn
For everyone, waking up early can sometimes be a problem. But for Liam Kincaid, he has no trouble getting out of bed early on Sundays during the winter.
The 9-year-old Kincaid is one of many young athletes from the Grand Valley who enjoys spending two months each winter participating in the Buddy Werner Ski Club at Powderhorn Ski Resort.
“These guys wake up an hour before we have to go, and on other days, you have to drag them out of bed,” Liam’s mother and Buddy Werner chair Anouk Kincaid said. “On ski days, these guys pop up and are ready to go.”
Buddy Werner is a organization that allows children ages 5-14 to ski competitively.
Powderhorn’s program has 76 kids who ski a giant slalom course on Powderhorn’s Wonderbump run, which is set up and run by parent volunteers.
Liam Kincaid has been skiing since he was three-years old, and through the Buddy Werner program, has become enthused with the sport. The youngster said he hopes to continue to compete for time to come.
“It is an awesome sport,” Liam said. “I remember going slow at first but I had a lot of fun doing it. All the guys on the lift were cheering me on.”
The racers compete by age group, hoping to make certain times to qualify for the state championships March 8 at Powderhorn.
Another Buddy Werner participant is Tanner Perkins, who at only 7 years old has grown leaps and bounds from picking the sport up only one year ago. Perkins said when he joined the Buddy Werner program it was hard, but he now has his times down to the low twenty seconds. For Anouk Kincaid, Perkins is a great example of a young athlete who has taken to skiing quickly.
“From just learning how to ski last year he is racing unusually high for his age,” she said.
“He is starting the developmental program, and the USSA (United States Ski and Snowboard Association) is hoping to get him next year.”
Kincaid added all of the young skiers are incredibly talented.
“They all rip so unbelievably well and most outski their parents,” she said. “Even if they don’t make it to the competitive level, they have such great technique because they all receive great coaching in small groups.”
If the Buddy Werner skiers want to continue like Perkins, they will enter the USSA program, which races all over the state of Colorado. After that, most of the young skiers dream of competing on a more national stage.
“I want to make the Olympics and get a bronze or gold,” Perkins said.