The Chicks with Stix coaches. Image:: Lorraine Lock
Chicks with Stix Returns for 2012 Season
Chicks with Stix, a snow-sports program designed exclusively for the girls, is returning to the Australian snowfields in 2012 with some exciting new initiatives. The highly successful grass-roots program, which started at Mt Buller in 2010, has expanded to include Thredbo, Perisher and Hotham into the line-up of participating resorts..... And, after dabbling with snowboarding last season, it's full steam ahead with a bevy of high-profile snowboard coaches joining the existing freestyle ski coaches.
Co-founder and head coach Zoe Jaboor couldn't be happier at the growth of the program over the past two seasons...."We ventured to other resorts last season and the feedback for our freestyle skiing clinics was really phenomenal. So many girls turned up to each session and we were just blown away. On the snowboarding front, Hotham was our first trial and the support that we received from the girls and the resort demonstrated to us that we needed to get snowboarding involved in the program asap!"
Chicks with Stix [CwS] aims to encourage girls to participate in snow-sports; freestyle skiing and snowboarding, two areas that Australians are having a lot of international success with right now and Zoe says we are poised to have much more success, with the Winter Olympics less than two years away.
"I think that with Sochi around the corner, Australian athletes are getting ready to showcase our amazing sport to the rest of Australia and Chicks with Stix will be a part of that. We offer girls a chance to ski and board with the best snow-sports athletes in Australia and get an insight into what our sport has to offer."
A series of all-day workshops, at various resorts around Australia, aims to help female skiers and boarders progress their skills, get comfortable in a competitive environment and add some new tricks to their repertoire. As well, an all-girls CwSThrowdown is planned for the end of the season in September.
Ongoing sponsorship from ROXY and ARMADA skis and total dedication from the coaches, who give their time freely, mean that workshops are offering the highest skill levels to participants.
Says Antonia Davison, "Roxy is stoked to support Chicks with Stix - it's a safe and fun program enabling girls to get out onto the snow and be inspired by each other. As well as making new friends and taking on new opportunities and adventures, girls learn from experienced Pro's what it takes to follow in the footsteps of champions like Roxy Team Rider Torah Bright."
The CwS coaches have just returned from the northern winter season in Europe, North America and Japan where they have been judging and competing in comps like the XGames, Freeride World Tour, and the World Cup circuit; and these girls are winning! With a world championship, podiums in the Winter X-Games and FWT, and a top 10 placement in Ski X world cup, the CwS coaches are keen to share their experience and knowledge with other female skiers and boarders.
"It's great to have the Chicks with Stix coaches back from their international successes and I know they're all excited to be part of the coaching team. CwS is all about us giving back to the ski community, teaching other chicks some new skills and having fun at the same time, " says cofounder and marketing director Lorraine Lock.
As well as inspiring the up-and-coming athletes CwS provides an outlet for social connection, self esteem, fitness and positive body image.
Lorraine says that she and Zoe were inspired to start CwS because "DESPITE the odds, Aussie girls are taking on the snowsports world and doing extremely well in so many disciplines - freeride, slopestyle, pipe, aerials and moguls."
CwS coaches are the exception, not the rule. They have all succeeded in a largely male dominated sport where, at the grass-roots level, there is little opportunity to train, progress, learn new skills and compete in a supportive female environment.
"Girls are different to boys, but big mountains, mogul bumps, the half-pipe, aerial kickers and ski x burns and jumps don't differentiate. It's 'one-size fits all' and it can be daunting. We aim to ease the pain and believe that in a friendly group scenario you can easily push yourself a little more."
All the coaches agree on one thing - that skiing and boarding has opened the doors to incredible opportunities, adventures and friendships and at the heart of CwS is the desire to share that positive vibe and encourage girls to progress their skills and ultimately compete.
"Seeing the dedication hard work and results of our coaches is inspiring. 'GIRL POWER' may sound a bit corny but really, that's what we've got!" says Lorraine.
This season CwS is introducing an 'Ambassador Program' expanding the reach of the CwS core messages with athletes like Lydia Lassila aerials Jenny Owens skier cross, Britt Cox moguls, Hannah Trigger snowboard half pipe and Steph Prem boardercross helping to spread the world both locally and internationally.
Ambassadors also have the opportunity to join the CwS workshops at their home mountain and spread a bit of inspiration.
In addition Roxy Team Riders including Jess Rich (a champion at the Aspen Open and Whistler Showcase Showdown earlier this year) and Lauren Staveley will join in the fun and share their stories - so we're encouraging girls to join Chicks with Stix and Ride with Roxy this winter!
The CwS mentoring program is being expanded with two lucky workshop participants being chosen for a 12 month sponsorship.
Sponsors Roxy and Armada support the program, with outerwear, hoodies and skis or a snowboard supplied to two lucky riders at the end of the program. In addition, both riders are put in touch with a professional athlete to encourage them to progress and train during the course of the year.
"The Chicks with Sticks program is the perfect environment for girls of all ages to get out and have fun while learning from Australia's, and the world's best women athletes." says Andreas Gloor Team Manager of ARMADA Skis in Australia
"For us, this partnership is not only a great way to give something back to the ski community, but to also give the opportunity for an up-and-coming girl to get one step closer in reaching their dream of becoming a professional skier." Gloor says.
Chicks with Stix aims to provide much needed encouragement and opportunities for more young girls to become involved in skiing and boarding. Girls in the CwS program have an opportunity to watch and learn and improve their skills, in a safe and non-threatening environment.
"Our plan is for CwS to be a feeder into the Olympic and FIS World Cup pathway and it's my desire to help channel girls into that, if that's where they want to go," says Zoe.
And Australia's governing snow-sports body, the SSA, couldn't agree more. (Ski + Snowboard Australia).
"CWS is an exciting initiative and one which complements the tremendous success of our Australian Female Wintersport athletes over a long period of time," says SSA CEO Michael Kennedy.
Skiing is one of Australia's largest participation sports and one of the few that are truly gender neutral.
"CWS provides female athletes an opportunity to explore their abilities in a supportive, complimentary environment which ultimately brings out the best in athletes. With the emergence of new disciplines such as Half Pipe and Slopestyle onto the Olympic Games program, CWS may well be one of the programs where Ski & Snowboard Australia will uncover our next Gold medal hero!" said Kennedy.
DATES FOR CWS :
Chicks with Stix hits the resorts through July and August. The throwdown comp will be in early September at Hotham. Check our website and facebook page for updates.
Buller 7 July
Hotham 14/15 July
Thredbo 11/12 Aug
Perisher 19 Aug
Throwdown : Hotham (September)
Led by Zoe Jaboor, one of this country's most proficient freestyle skiers
(athlete, coach and international judge) the coaching team in 2012 includes :
Anna Segal (World Slopestyle Champion, X-Games medallist, SSA Athlete of the Year)
Katya Crema (SkierX Olympian, World Top 10)
Nat Segal (Professional Big Mountain Skier, FWT Gold Medalist)
Katie Blamey (Mogul Coach)
Nicole Lewis (Mogul Coach + Course Designer, ABOM Mogul Challenge Winner)
Karinya Turnbull (World Cup Mogul Skier)
Hannah Studd (Snowboard)
Ali Deane (Snowboard)
Merrin Jokic (Snowboard)
For more information contact :
0415 461 360