NEGAUNEE, Mich. (WJMN) – The Great Lakes Sports Commission granted $55,000 to the Ishpeming Ski Club for additions at the Suicide Bowl ski venue.
The funding is towards several projects at the ski hill. They will make renovations to their clubhouse to add more space for changing rooms, ski waxing and meetings. It is also helping fund a Quonset structure which is nearing completion according to Gary Rasmussen.
“We had the Great Lakes Sports Authority grant us money to build this for our heavy equipment,” said Rasmussen. “We’ve got a lot of it, we’ve got piston bullies, a winch cat which is seventeen feet wide and weighs thirteen and a half tons and we don’t like leaving it outside brand new those units are worth four hundred and some thousand dollars and you want to make sure their covered up and safe so we needed something like this for many many years.”
Their current cloubhouse space will be completely renovated and an additional story will be added to it. They will also be adding a warming hut next to the start of their 90 meter hill and more safety features.
“We’re also putting snowboards on our 60 meter jump for safety issues and to be sanctioned and hold sanctioned events in ski jumping your hills have to be up to specifications and that’s a project that we’ve needed to do for some years now,” said Rasmussen. “We plan to hold a junior national qualifier so kids will come here to qualify for the junior olympics and we needed to bring that hill up to speed.”
The snowboards will be walls on each side of the landing that are approximately a meter high. hIf a skier were to fall, the boards would keep them on the landing instead of allowing them to slide off into the woods according to Rasmussen.
Rasmussen says skiers from all over the United States and internationally already visit the hill for competitions and that keeping up with regulations is important so that they can continue to have sanctioned events.
“The regulations are getting stricter and if we didn’t make these improvements we would be prohibited from having sanctioned competitions,” said Rasmussen “So, we’ve always had world class events out here we always get jumpers Europe and Scandinavia, we always get skiers from the United States from the East coast to the West coast and everything in between .”
One member of the Ishpeming Ski Club, Kija Copenhaver, says she loves ski jumping with her friends and is thankful for the work volunteers do on these projects.
“Thank you for all the volunteers that come here and help out with all the projects we have going on here it really helps the kids be able to jump and have fun,” said Copenhaver.
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