The Competition Center: Winter Park Resort's Year-Round Mountain Sports Club

One of the longest running sports clubs in the region, the Competition Center at Winter Park Resort goes big when it comes to developing young athletes. Originally founded as The Winter Park Ski Club in 1962, it was officially adopted under the resort's operations in 1982 as the Competition Center. Dedicated to helping youth and adults achieve their highest potential as athletes, people, and competitors, the Comp Center coaches and mentors snowboarders, skiers, and mountain bikers. Kids can start participating in the Comp Center at age 6, with the opportunity to grow their love of their sport through a training environment that focuses on the total athlete and enjoying the mountain sports this beautiful valley has to offer. 

Most Comp Center winter programs run Friday through Sunday. Students in the East Grand School District have school Monday-Thursday, giving them the opportunity to participate in the Comp Center all three days should they choose! And the Alpine Full-time Academy gets ski racers even more time on the snow and in training, offering the Jr. Academy for grades 5-8 (Tuesday & Thursday-Sunday) and high school academy (Tuesday-Sunday). Athletes in the program partner with local schools to accommodate the training scheduling or take advantage of alternative education options. Summer mountain bike programming typically takes place on the weekends and has options for longer-term commitments as well. 


There's no question the Competition Center is one of the best ways for youth to grow in their respective winter sports. Kids who ski and ride with the Comp Center grow exponentially over a season, and they develop a camaraderie with their crew. Skiing with the same group and same coach all season, they get to experience the mountain in a way most of us don't have the opportunity to. And they can pick an area of focus: all-mountain, alpine racing, freeride big mountain, freeski park and pipe, freestyle mogul, and snowboarding programs help athletes hone skills in their specialty areas. The Nordic team likewise trains together every Saturday, taking advantage of the world-class trails at Snow Mountain Ranch


The Winter Park Ski Club of 1962 has come a long way since its inception! Now the Competition Center embraces the year-round opportunities here in Winter Park, capitalizing on our terrain in the summer season. Comp Center athletes (aged 7-17) can participate in the All Mountain Bike Program (ages 7-17) or Trestle Gravity Team  (ages 8-15). The All Mountain Bike Program gives younger kids the mountain bike skills to ride single track trails and gives older kids exposure to Grand County mountain bike trails. For teens, it's a great warm-up for the high school mountain bike season. The Gravity Team preps kids for races and gives them that adrenaline rush anyone who has ridden Trestle Bike Park has experienced. Either way, time on the trails in one of our favorite seasons of the year is a win for athletes and parents! 


Holding fast to their dedication to the total athlete, the Winter Park Competition Center offers a sports performance program for athletes as young as 10 years old. Off-season dryland training, RTS (return to sport) support after an injury, nutrition guidance, and sports psychology are a few of the sports performance program staples. Dryland training focuses on creating athletic awareness, developing fundamental movement patterns, improving aerobic and anaerobic systems, and developing strength and power. The RTS program supports the injured athlete through rehabilitation, recovery, and a successful return to sport. Trained dietitians help athletes establish healthy, nutrient-dense fueling habits for optimal performance. Sports Psychology helps athletes navigate the pressures, obstacles, pitfalls, and emotional ups and downs of elite sports effectively and efficiently. The Competition Center truly believes in supporting the whole body, physically and mentally. And the sports performance program embodies their values. 


Participating in any sport has its cost, and the mountain sports programming offered by the Competition Center is no different. While we believe it is one of the best "bangs for your buck" as far as high-quality coaching and time on the snow or mountain bike trail goes, we're well aware the price tag can make participation in the program out-of-reach for many. Enter the Grand Foundation, Grand County's glue that binds the non-profit sector together, the Grand Foundation administers an entire fund dedicated to Comp Center athletes and their families. The Competition Center Athlete Support Fund provides both merit and need-based support to athletes. This fund is a true gift to families and is just another testament to the beauty of the community and the way we support each other. Just keep in mind - applications are due on September 15th each year! 


We know our youth athletes "go big or go home." Are you ready to take the leap into mountain living? We're here for you. Whether you just want to talk Comp Center programming (which we're well-versed in) or take a look at some current listings, we'd love to connect and share our love of this place we call home! 

Posted by Leah Bishop on


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