U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s new women’s initiative: The Heroic Movement

Published: Nov. 27, 2022 at 7:44 PM EST
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KILLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Championing women in snowsports: That’s the goal of U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s new women’s initiative: the Heroic Movement.

“It’s just trying to take a look at how we engage women. Women are smart, they’re savvy, they’re wise,” said Diann Roffee, the junior program director at Burke Mountain Academy.

U.S. Ski & Snowboard is the Olympic national governing body of ski and snowboard sports in the USA. The Heroic Movement is designed to celebrate and empower women in skiing and snowboarding. The current goal of the initiative is to increase the number of women coaches at all levels of the sports.

“It’s about women feeling comfortable, taking their opportunity with what they’ve earned and what they deserve. And so it’s changing the discussion to you know, yeah, we are leaders too, and we can affect change,” Roffee said.

The movement was officially set in motion at the Killington Cup. As the world’s most attended women’s FIS World Cup with some of the most powerful women in the ski and snowboard industry in attendance, organizers say it was the perfect time to discuss, honor and lead innovation in women in skiing and snowboarding.

“Women’s sports for so long it’s kind of been in the shadow of men’s sports for all sorts of reasons. There just haven’t been the same number of opportunities, the pay inequality... This is the time to really take the profile of our athletes and sports to the next level,” said Sophie Goldschmidt, the president and CEO of U.S. Ski & Snowboard.

U.S. Ski & Snowboard also plans to work with women leaders in other industries to provide fellowships for athletes and women in the industry, as well as develop grants to address core challenges such as lack of child care.

“Female participation in the sport is declining. The discussion really centers around keeping women involved in the sport of skiing and particularly young girls and trying to keep you know, the love for the sport of skiing snowboarding alive, whether it’s scholarship, availability, accessibility,” Roffee said.

Leaders of the movement say the initiative is beneficial for women and snow sports as a whole, and are excited for what the future holds for women who want to take part in the movement.

“Looking forward, let’s really further recognize these amazing achievements and get more creative and innovative and even more inclusive to embrace anyone that wants to get engaged with a real focus on the women’s side,” Goldschmidt said.

“We have the floor. So now let’s use it,” Roffee said.