The Whitewater Slalom Foundation was founded in the spring of 2009, in association with USA Canoe/Kayak, to help rejuvenate the sport of canoe and kayak slalom in the US. The WSF has established Regional Teams throughout the country and provided travel funds for team members who participate in summer races, established an under-23 team, and helped fund training camps around the country.
Our misison statement: "To promote and develop the sport of whitewater slalom in particular, and other whitewater or paddlesports events as appropriate, bringing their many joys and benefits--including environmental awareness, physical fitness, camaraderie, sportsmanship, fun, and the pursuit of excellence--to a widespread and diverse group of participants."
The Whitewater Slalom Foundation is the brainchild of Olympic Bronze Medalist Jamie McEwan. Jamie’s vision is to create a service organization that supports and promotes Whitewater Slalom and Whitewater sport through the leadership, efforts and support of the sport’s alumni.
The current, and inaugural, Foundation board is comprised of current and former National Team members including past World Championship and Olympic Medalists. This board is trying to achieve its objectives by improving the sport of Whitewater Slalom in four specific areas: Performance, Participation, Athlete Retention, and Opportunity. The WSF is targeting its efforts in these areas in order to best leverage the knowledge, relationships, experience, and expertise of its board and alumni. The Foundation also has a commitment to self‐sustaining projects— those in which a seed can be planted by the Foundation but with the objective that operations will be taken over by either USACK, volunteer or professional organizations. Projects and organizations that we support include coaching programs, racing and training clubs, regional teams, race series, training camps, a rankings program, and other development initiatives that are essential to the sport of slalom in America today. It is our commitment to do what we can to foster the sport and shore up these programs in the best way possible.
The Foundation’s first two years have included the implementation of some very exciting projects including the Regional Teams Program, the U‐23 Program and the National Rankings Series. The Regional Teams Program provided support and encouragement to regions that chose to competitively select and field a Regional Team. This effort promoted racing and participation in many regions around the country. The U‐23 program was an initiative that tried to create incentives and opportunities that would help athletes to bridge the gap between racing in as juniors and racing on the National Team. The National Rankings Series was an effort to revitalize the rankings system to be a clear and competitive objective that promotes racing on the national level. Other initiatives included a Training Camp Initiative, a pool slalom initiative and a project that acted to expand, update, and remain in contact with our alumni.
Our 2011 projects are as exciting as those of this past two years. Changes at USACK last year have spurred an organization that is like‐minded to the WSF and that is seeking to work closely with us on many of our projects. I am very excited to announce the expectation that USACK will take over the U‐23 program and will adopt our rankings system in the coming year. The Foundation is also working directly with the USACK to fund a Junior Team Coach as well as work on grants for a women’s coaching program. I am also pleased to announce that all of our current initiatives were deemed a success by the current board and are slated to be updated and continued in the coming year. It is my belief that our efforts to date have already served to grow and enhance the sport of slalom.
Scott Shipley, President
Whitewater Slalom Foundation Board Members: Dana Chladek, David Hepp, Jamie McEwan, Matthew Taylor.
To visit the Whitewater Slalom Foundation's website, click here.