Waterville Valley, NH -- It’s spring in Waterville Valley, time to get out the lawn chairs, hiking boots, mountain bikes, golf clubs, tennis rackets, skis and snowboards. Yes, that’s right, skis and snowboards! The snow may have melted, but Waterville Valley Black and Blue Trail Smashers Snowsports Educational Foundation (WVBBTS/SEF) will be providing cutting-edge year-round training for freestyle and snowboard athletes at our one-of-a-kind training venue.
On May 19th, WVBBTS held the formal dedication of Phil’s Hill Training Center. With the Holmes family, WVBBTS supporters and members, current student/athletes, staff and coaches in attendance it was a perfect day to celebrate the Grand Opening of the site that clearly embodies our motto, Pioneering Snowsports and Cultivating Tomorrow’s Leaders.
Named in honor of Phil Holmes, a charismatic WVBBTS athlete who passed away much too young, this yea round jumping venue is the premier training opportunity for Eastern Freestyle and Snowboard athletes. A remembrance for Sandy Holmes, Phil’s mother, who recently passed away, was incorporated in the stairs that athletes hike up. A street sign proclaiming Sandy’s Way, in honor of her unique outlook and staunch support of WVBBTS programs, marks the path.
Dick Holmes, Father of Philip and Husband to Sandra, expressed his gratitude, “Now two members of our family share this site, Philip and Sandra. Once at the top (of Phil’s Hill by climbing the stairs of Sandy’s Way), one can now soar into the unknown and reach for that far away dream.”
“This is the real deal. This is where current and future champions will train,” enthused Nick Preston, Director of the WVBBTS Freestyle Skiing Program. “I am very proud of what this organization has done to deliver the finest training center in freestyle skiing.”
Phil’s Hill is located on the Snow’s Mountain campus of Waterville Valley Academy, owned and operated by WVBBTS/SEF for the education and coaching of Alpine, Freestyle and Snowboard athletes. The venue is composed of a 220’ earthen ramp covered with Neveplast artificial snow surfacing. The170 foot in-run leads to a platform with two jumps, accommodating different ability levels, to launch athletes into the air. The 50’ x 50’ x 15’ BagJump airbag, provides exceptionally safe, cushioned landings that enable athletes to qualify their tricks before taking them onto snow. Two on-site fly bed trampolines also help athletes hone their acrobatic skills.
“It was a lot of hard work and I would like to thank everyone for all their support. Keep looking out for us in the future, you’re going to see some great thing happen as we utilize this new training center,” said Snowboard Program Director, Peter Thorndike, as he addressed the crowd attending the dedication.
“It’s been a team effort and a real community effort. A lot of people stepped up to bring this project from vision to reality,” said Robert Mann, Chairman of the WVBBTS Board of Trustees.
WVBBTS would like to thank our generous Founding Donor Families and Project Supporters, and our Corporate Donors; Diamond Sponsors Waterville Valley Realty and Benson Lumber, and other business partners including Mad River Coffee Roasters, Community Guaranty Savings Bank, Speare Memorial Hospital, Horizons Engineering and Neveplast.
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photo - skier Eddie Gildea launches a cork-9 true tail into the BagJump airbag on Phil's Hill Training Center