Clubhouse Chronicles: Recognizing 85 years of excellence, community at AVSC

Mark Godomsky
AVSC Executive Director
AVSC director Mark Godomsky, left, poses with a group of young athletes during the club’s annual equipment day this past fall at Basalt Middle School. Courtesy photo.

The year 2022 will mark the 85th anniversary of the Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club serving the youth of the Roaring Fork Valley.

And what an 85 years it has been.

Since our club’s inception in 1937, we have served an integral role in shaping the youth of our valley by coaching and inspiring kids to excel, while promoting a community of passion, grit and mountain culture.

As you can imagine, our programs have grown astronomically since 1937. We now serve close to 3,000 athletes from every school between Aspen and Rifle. We offer programs for every individual and skill level, from first time skiers to athletes heading out to represent our club and community in the 2022 Winter Olympics.

Our efforts are not limited to winter, either, as our recreational mountain bike program has grown to serving close to 500 athletes in the summer months.

We could not have achieved this growth and success without this community. It truly takes a village — or in this case a valley. From the in-house coaches and staff of AVSC, to the dedicated Aspen Skiing Co. ski pros helping facilitate our Aspen Supports Kids (ASK) recreational programs, to our chaperones, parents and community volunteers, to the Skico and AVSC mountain operations teams, the list goes on. We are so grateful for the hard work and dedication that each person invests in our club and athletes.

The support of our incredibly generous donors and sponsors is truly what makes this club and our operations so successful, and allows us to get and keep kids on snow. So far this year, we have awarded 575 athletes financial aid to partake in our programs, coming in at just over $570,000 in aid.

In addition, our programs are subsidized substantially to make them affordable and competitive for the families in our community. The ability to engage a variety of athletes and encourage all athletes to participate regardless of financial status is critical to our success and we owe that to the generous donations from our community members and organizations.

Last month, we hosted an equipment day for Aspen Supports Kids athletes, where we handed out 300 pairs of skis and 150 snowboards thanks to our generous partners at Four Mountain Sports and Gorsuch.

For those that are unfamiliar, ASK is our recreational program run with the help of Skico ski instructors and coordinators. ASK participants were able to apply for equipment scholarships and the athletes that were awarded scholarships came to Basalt Middle School for a fun day of getting fitted for ski and snowboard equipment for the upcoming season.

We also owe our success to the incredible venue and mountains we call home. The kickoff to winter has been slow, with little precipitation and warm temps. But with the hard work and preparation of our mountain operations team, blowing, pushing and prepping snow, our training venue at Aspen Highlands is open and provides a useful space for each discipline to train.

We have so much to be grateful for as a club and community. And we want to give a big thank you to all the people and organizations that help us to inspire and coach our valley’s youth. Cheers to another great season ahead and think snow!

Clubhouse Chronicles is a behind-the-scenes column written by the Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club that runs periodically in the Aspen Times sports section.