The Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation provides year-round ski and snowboard training and competitive opportunities for Wood River Valley youth. Our origins are rooted in the Sun Valley Ski Club as our foundation was established as an integral part of the ski club in 1966 as a way for the SVSC to provide racing opportunities for juniors. Since that time the SVSEF has helped numerous junior racers achieve dreams of Olympic medals, World Championship podiums, World Cup victories, and National Championship gold. More importantly, we have helped an innumerable number of athletes become skiing aficionados for life. Not only are the alumni of the ski foundation some of the best skiers on any mountain, anywhere, they are “setting the bar high” in all facets of life including family, work and community.
The driving philosophy behind SVSEF is to create a positive, fun, and productive environment that inspires each one of our athletes to meet his or her fullest potential. Our team philosophy is implemented by both identifying with our incredible heritage as a community (22 Winter Olympians) and by innovating to meet the changing demands of our society. We view the mountains as the world’s best classroom, where a child’s imagination is captivated and their potential for learning, growth, and inspiration is maximized.
Why we matter
50 years strong, SVSEF is a cornerstone institution in our community that exemplifies the Wood River Valley traditions of excellence, good sportsmanship and mountain adventure. Team members acquire the tools for success, not only in their winter sport, but also in the pursuit of their ultimate goals and dreams. Our athletes and their families enrich our community, fortifying the economic sustainability of our Valley, and affirming that SVSEF is a vital organization in the Wood River Valley.
To create the best Junior Snowsports Development Program in the nation.
To provide exceptional snowsport programs for the youth of the Wood River Valley thereby enabling each participant to reach his/her athletic potential, while developing strong personal character through good sportsmanship, strong values, and individual goals.
Sportsmanship – Citizenship – Character – Teamwork – Creativity – Passion -Perseverance.
Strong Minds, Strong Bodies, Strong Futures
The Sun Valley Ski Club formed the SVSEF
In 1963 members of the Sun Valley Ski Club established a Junior Race Committee to promote a program for school children in the Wood River Valley to learn to ski and to train to race in regional events. The intent of the original committee members, including Jack Simpson, Jane Kneeland and Pete Lane, was to try and place local racers on Junior National teams and, eventually, on Olympic teams.
The Ski Club sought non-profit 501(c)3 status for the junior program and the SVSEF was established as a non-profit amateur sports organization in 1966. The Ski Club members pledged to dedicate a portion of their membership dues to support the goals of SVSEF. They began to set aside monies in trust for annual income intended to provide scholarships for needy athletes.
A Little Bit of History
Early 1960’s – Junior Alpine Racing program founded by the Sun Valley Ski Club
April 17, 1966 – Sun Valley Ski Education Foundation is incorporated
1971 – 96 racers are part of the SVSEF; six are named to the U.S. Ski Team
1972 – SVSEF Cross Country Program started
1982 – Lake Creek Property donated to SVSEF by Warren Shillington
1985 – Alpine Hut in Warm Springs acquired
1990 – Phase 1 of Engl Training Center acquired
1991 – Freestyle Program started
1992 – Phase II of Engl Training Center acquired; Snowboard Program started
1998 First annual Bill Janss Pro-Am Classic
1999 – SVSEF named USSA “Club of the Year”
2000 – Budget surpasses $1 million
2002 – Quigley Cross Country program instituted in Hailey
2005 – Olympic Development Team (ODT) program started
2005 – Budget surpasses $3 million
2006 – 40th Anniversary Celebration
2007 – SVSEF enrollment tops 500 athletes; Lake Creek facility remodeled
2011 – Olympic Development Team renamed SVSEF Gold Team
2012 – Designated a U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Site by the United States Olympic Committee
2013 – SVSEF is named USSA “Club of the Year” and USSA “Snowboard Club of the Year”
2013 – Complete remodel of Greyhawk Training Center, including new administrative offices
2015 – USOC Olympic & Paralympic Training Site designation expanded to include all five SVSEF disciplines; alpine, cross country, freestyle, freeskiing and snowboard
2016 – SVSEF athlete participation reaches a record 565 athletes