Lake Wanaka, New Zealand – Organizers of the World Heli Challenge today announced the launch of a groundbreaking program, the World Heli Challenge Academy, a unique training camp for skiers and snowboarders from around the world.
The World Heli Challenge Academy will have programs held over seven days in some of the finest skiing destinations, providing unparalleled settings for learning (including one day of helicopter backcountry skiing /boarding), access to a stellar cast of international pro-athletes, a challenging mix of terrain and a diverse cultural experience for participants, their families and friends.
The inaugural World Heli Challenge Academy will be held at Treble Cone in Wanaka, New Zealand from July 18-24, prior to the 2011 World Heli Challenge which begins 27 July.
Tony Harrington (Harro), founder of World Heli Challenge, explains the evolution of the Academy, “The World Heli Challenge has long been a beacon for big mountain athletes and we are seeing more people wanting to follow their heroes into the world of big mountain skiing and snowboarding. The World Heli Challenge Academy creates a pathway, especially for young people, to learn from the best, to develop respect and understanding for the alpine environment and to harness the skills vital to survival in the big mountains of the world.”
The Academy curriculum spans topics such as mountain safety and awareness, avalanche knowledge, backcountry skills, helicopter safety, big mountain skiing and snowboarding technique as well as instruction in alpine environment, health and fitness, personal development and promotion in the snow sports industry. Additional courses offered further round out the diverse program include multi-media skills, sponsorship and media awareness and personal leadership.
World Heli Challenge athlete and Academy mentor Chris Booth (pictured left) is one of many internationally superior athletes contributing to the World Heli Challenge Academy.
“Big mountain skiing requires three specific things: access, experience and awareness. It has taken me over 10 years to acquire the skills necessary to be competitive in big mountain environments, “ said Booth. ”It will be life-changing for these kids, I am very excited to be a part of this ground-breaking program.”
The Academy programs are available for both juniors and adults. Below is information for each:
Open to experienced and confident skiers/snowboarders, aged 12 to 17, with a drive to learn and progress their skills to a whole new level.
Applicants will be selected across a wide-range of criteria. Competition for the coveted Academy places is expected to be strong.
Experienced and confident skiers and snowboarders in good physical health will love the unique challenges and learning opportunities offered at the Academy. The Academy team will tailor programs to suit participants and their skill levels and objectives.
Adult programs are ideally suited to parents with children enrolled in the Junior Academy who wish to develop similar skills and understanding alongside their child.
In addition to the Academy at Treble Cone, further programs are already being planned at Mt Buller (Australia), Jackson Hole (Wyoming, USA), Cordova (Alaska, USA) and Chamonix (France).
Those seeking more information or who would like to apply for the inaugural academy can log on to www.worldhelichallenge.com/academy.