USA Luge returns to Appleton for Slider Search Event June 29-30
(Appleton, WI) June 18, 2019 — For the last four years, USA Luge athletes have been sliding into the Fox Valley every June to attend the wellness expo at U.S. Venture, which is a major sponsor of the sports team. During their visit this year, USA Luge will also be hosting the White Castle USA Luge Slider Search on June 29-30 in Appleton. This free, public event, which is the official nationwide athlete recruitment tour of USA Luge, will be held on East Broadway Drive between North Ballard Road and Thornapple Lane, and includes slider clinics from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. & 2-5 p.m. on both days.
At each session, kids ages 9-13 will learn the sport of luge using wheeled “street” sleds which go at slower, more introductory speeds. USA Luge athletes and coaches will teach skills such as positioning, steering and stopping before young participants are allowed a few practice runs down a paved luge course. The last time USA Luge held a slider search event in Appleton was in 2016.
“Our grassroots program is designed to identify athletic potential in area youth,” says Gordy Sheer, director of marketing for USA Luge. “We’ve helped to develop several athletes from Wisconsin in the past who have gone on to compete at the national and Olympic level, and we look forward to hopefully finding more during our visit.”
In attendance will be 2014 Olympian Aidan Kelly, who also came from the Slider Search and now manages the program.
USA Luge will also be making a special stop at the Boys & Girls Club of the Fox Valley on Friday, June 28 as part of the Club’s “Olympics Week.” The athletes will do a workout with the kids and show them how to take a street sled down a ramp—similar to how athletes start on top of an icy race track. In January, some of the Club kids attended Titletown Winter Games where they first learned the luge basics on top of Ariens Hill.
Starting in 1985, the slider search event has given more than 25,000 kids from around the country the chance to learn the sport. It serves as the main recruiting tactic of the USA Luge Junior Development Team. An estimated 70 percent of the Olympic teams since 2002 have been identified through the slider search program, and event organizers believe that young athletes from statewide communities may help comprise the next crop of USA Luge competitors.
Hopefuls will only need to attend one of the four available sessions for a chance to qualify for the first stage of USA Luge’s development program, and each participant will receive a free USA Luge Slider Search T-shirt for attending.
To register for the event, call 1-800-USA-LUGE or visit: https://www.teamusa.org/USA-Luge/SS-Registration-Form.
Attendees must be present 15 minutes prior to the start of each clinic. A parent or legal guardian must accompany you. Wear long pants (not baggy), long sleeve shirt (not baggy) and sneakers. Shorts and T-shirt can be worn for the physical testing portion. In the event of rain, a clinic may be canceled for safety reasons and will not be rescheduled. A parent or legal guardian must attend the clinic with each athlete.
- Boys & Girls Club of the Fox Valley (160 S Badger Ave, Appleton) – Friday, June 28 at 9:30 a.m
- Slider Search Event in Appleton – Saturday-Sunday, June 29-30