Oregon State University-Cascades has taken the first step in developing a club sports program that will compete with other colleges and universities by signing an agreement with the Mt. Bachelor Sports Education Foundation. The teams may begin as early as this fall.
Under the agreement, the foundation would provide coaching and coordination services in support of OSU-Cascades teams in alpine and Nordic skiing, mountain biking and cyclocross.
"As we expand to a four-year university, sports programs will be an important part of attracting students and will add to a rich experience for the student community," said OSU-Cascades Vice President Becky Johnson.
A task force helped select the sports for their fit with the region's ready-made training venues and community support for these popular outdoor activities.
For the ski teams, Mt. Bachelor is 22 miles from the campus and provides the highest skiable elevation in Oregon and Washington. It also has one of the longest alpine and cross-country ski seasons in the country.
The mountain bike and cyclocross teams will have access to the area's 300-plus miles of bike trails, and long expanses of open roads.
The region has become a destination for major events in these sports that attract top athletes from around the country.
OSU-Cascades will begin establishing the club sports teams this fall and full-time students in good academic standing are eligible to participate. The snow sport club teams will compete in the Northwest Conference of the United States Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association, the sports federation for collegiate team ski racing and snowboarding. Cycling sports will compete in the Northwest Collegiate Cycling Conference, with USA Cycling as the sanctioning organization.
"We are excited about the new cycling and winter sports club programs at OSU-Cascades," said John Schiemer, executive director of the Mt. Bachelor Sports Education Foundation. "We believe our expertise in the cycling, alpine and Nordic skiing can help train, coach and support their athletes to compete at a high level."
To learn more, visit http://www.osucascades.edu/sports.