The U.S. Ski Team is taking operational control of Nastar, the recreational ski racing program that brought up the likes of Ted Ligety and Julia Mancuso. The announcement was made Monday at the National Ski Areas Association annual convention, according to Ski Magazine.
“Being able to integrate Nastar directly into our programs will allow us to better include competitors of all ages, encouraging them to expand their participation in ski racing and connecting them with USSA clubs and racing system nationwide,” U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) CEO Tiger Shaw said in the statement.
By taking over Nastar, which began in 1968 as a program of Ski Magazine, the U.S. Ski Team hopes to broaden its pool of young ski racers. The USSA’s statement said that the integration will increase awareness of the sport and serve as a recruiting tool.
“Nastar is where most ski racers in America, including myself, were introduced to the thrill of going fast and competing on skis, by challenging our friends and family on the course,” Ligety said in the statement.
The USSA and Active Interest Media—which owns Ski and Skiing magazines, Warren Miller Entertainment, and, until this year, Nastar—have signed a letter of intent for USSA to take operational control in 2015. Nastar is currently in place at 115 U.S. resorts, and USSA hopes the program will boost numbers at its 400-plus local clubs across the country.