U.S. Venture, a sponsor of USA Luge, promotes free slider search recruitment event in Milwaukee
athletes introduce Milwaukee kids to luge – the fastest sport on ice
The White Castle USA Luge Slider Search is coming to the Milwaukee area on August 12-13. Kids have the chance to learn the basics of riding a luge “street” sled (on wheels) at controlled speeds, including positioning, steering and stopping. Once these skills are developed, the participants take several runs down a paved luge course with the guidance of U.S. Olympic and national team coaches and athletes.
The slider search event, which is USA Luge’s primary recruitment event, targets boys and girls ages 9-13 and will be held at the Soap Box Derby Track at Valley View Park, 5100 South Small Road, in New Berlin, WI.
The clinic is free and will be offered on Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. and 2:00-5:00 p.m. Participants, who will receive a White Castle USA Luge Slider Search t-shirt for attending, are asked to attend one session.
“We are inspired by the hard work and winning record of USA Luge and proud to support the team in their recruitment efforts for youth in our state,” said John Schmidt, president and CEO of U.S. Venture, Inc., which is a major sponsor of USA Luge.
Throughout the years, the USA Luge Slider Search has traveled over 230,000 miles and introduced the sport of luge to more than 20,000 eager young athletes. Established in 1985, the mission of this grassroots slider search program is to identify, train and qualify young athletes for the USA Luge Junior Development Team. Athletes who may progress through the six-rung development ladder have hopes of one day becoming members of the National and Olympic Luge Team.
During the slider search, potential athletes are evaluated by comfort level on the sled, emotional intelligence and athletic ability. Those who show promise in the summer program are invited to Lake Placid, NY; Park City, UT; or Muskegon, MI to try luge on ice at a USA Luge-sanctioned training site. The top young athletes from this group are selected for the next year’s development team.
“This off-season tour is our pathway to finding new, young athletes that will one day become Olympians and Olympic medalists,” said Gordy Sheer, USA Luge director of marketing and sponsorships and 1998 Olympic silver medalist. “We have a number of talented athletes from Wisconsin in our rankings and look forward to finding more during our visit.”
Serving as coaches at the slider search in Milwaukee will be 2014 Olympian Aidan Kelly of West Islip, NY, and Junior National Team member Grace Weinberg of Middlebury, VT. Additional locally-based development athletes will also be on hand to help.