Erin Young joins AVSC as club’s full-time athletic trainer to aid competitive athletes
With more than 500 competitive athletes at the Aspen Valley Ski and Snowboard Club, it’s only a matter of time before some of them get hurt. And the return-to-sport process can be challenging for all those involved.
“There is nothing worse than being injured, because you get removed from your peer group. You get removed from the thing you like to do, and you can get lost on an island,” AVSC executive director Mark Godomsky said. “There is nothing worse than having a kid who has committed themselves to doing something, then the parent has to watch as they can’t do it.”
The difficulty can be in how to get back into the sport, as AVSC has made a move that should help with the effort. Through a partnership with Aspen Valley Hospital, the club has brought in a full-time athletic trainer for the first time. While officially employed by AVH, Erin Young will be based out of the AVSC clubhouse and work directly with the competitive club athletes.
Adding Young in her position is part of a greater initiative by AVSC to become a year-round club. They have also added to their academic staff in an effort to help athletes balance training and studies.
“We now have somebody in house that can communicate with the coaching staff, with the parent, with the athlete,” Godomsky said. “Before Erin’s arrival, you were kind of left on your own. Coaches would try to reach out, but they are on the hill every day. So I think Erin is going to provide a pretty cool opportunity for kids to see a doctor faster, be assessed quicker, return to sport faster.”
Young grew up in Davis, California, and attended San Diego State University where she studied kinesiology and athletic training. She’s lived in the Roaring Fork Valley since leaving college in 2013, having worked with the Aspen Club and having done contract work with numerous organizations, such as Aspen Junior Hockey and the local men’s lacrosse league.
A former soccer player, Young said she gravitated toward a career in athletic training after suffering a knee injury in high school.
“Going through that whole process made me shift my mindset on what I wanted to do and how I still wanted to stay involved in sports,” Young said. “I didn’t have the opportunities that AVSC gives to kids, but I did grow up able to ski and snowboard and it’s really cool to now be a part of that and bring my experience to the club. I plan on learning a lot about ski racing and freestyle and all of the opportunities the club offers out to their athletes.”
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This past season brought with it Hailey Swirbul’s greatest individual result as a professional cross-country ski racer. But any real satisfaction she received always came when racing alongside her teammates, notably during world champs.