WinSport is always looking for ways it can be better than yesterday in its programming and the WinSport Skills Centre is its latest example.
The skills centre, which opens July 1, is a progression-based network of cross-country (XC) and flow trails, features and loops for mountain bikers of all ages and abilities.
It’s located on the west side of Canada Olympic Park and will feature nine acres of terrain with 14 trails, which include both technical and flow trails along with two skills loops in green, blue and black levels. The Mountain Bike Skills Centre accompanies the existing downhill trail network to form WinSport Bike Park.
The skills centre will be used in WinSport’s mountain bike and summer camp programming.
Andrew Lunt, WinSport’s Manager of Sport Development, says the skills centre will allow instructors to introduce participants to certain features of the downhill trails, so they are able to take the trails with the proper skillset and confidence.
“We are using the skills centre as a progression-based area. Let’s say the kids don’t know how to take jumps or are not used to going over rocks – the skills centre is going to be used as an area where they can get used to those features and get repetitions in on practicing certain elements,” Lunt explains.
Some of the challenging features of the downhill trails are berms and jumps, which Lunt says can be practiced on in the skills centre.
“We’ll put kids through an area for however long it takes, so they can confidently ride the berm and hit the jumps – if you can do it in the skills centre, then you can do it on the downhill trails.”
Unlike the downhill trails, the skills centre allows instructors to train participants in a focused area so participants can gain confidence and improve their skills in a shorter period of time and in a safer environment.
“It allows instructors to teach skills more effectively and allows the kids to progress at their own pace where they don’t have to worry about another group whipping down behind them,” Lunt explains.
Lunt says the skills and confidence riders will gain in the skills centre extends beyond what riders can accomplish at WinSport’s Bike Park.
“When people go to West Bragg Creek, Canmore or Moose Mountain, they’ll find the same features and they’ll and be confident enough to ride them because of the repetitions they’ve had in the skills centre,” Lunt says.
For more information on the WinSport Skills Centre, visit: https://www.winsport.ca/activities/summer/bikepark.cfm