Bridget Mahaffey was awarded the 2017 Rudi Setz Award at the recent AGM. The Ruedi Setz Memorial Award is presented each year to a Foothills Nordic club member, or members, who have made a significant volunteer contribution to the club and the sports of biathlon and cross-country skiing.
Bridget Mahaffey has quietly been a part of Foothills Nordic Ski Club for many years. Quiet in that she was involved with the recreational programs, Teen Ski (formerly Youth Outdoor Group or YOG) and Marmot groups. Programs that often fly under the radar in Foothills with our strong competitive programs. But are hugely important in providing for kids and teens who are not as competitively inclined, with opportunity to participate in sport of Cross Country skiing. It is through Bridget’s many years of dedication to these programs that they are as popular as they are, and exist with the club today.
Bridget started as a participant in YOG, and transitioned to assisting the group’s parent coach when she became “too old” to be a participant. She went on to coach the group through a few lean years, until the program got a critical mass and started to become more and more popular. Last year the combined Marmot-Teen program was over-subscribed. But due to Bridget’s commitment and connections for coaches, and with her leadership skills to manage a large group, she and her coaching team were able to include all those who wanted to participate.
Along with Bridget’s 9 years as a volunteer leader / coach at Foothills, she also did an MRU practicum-term helping Foothills with program development. She was involved in setting up and lead coaching the first Foothills Ski-At-School program. She also coached Jackrabbits for a couple of years.
For all the coaching, planning and organizing that Bridget did, it was her dedication and passion for making skiing FUN for ALL that made her such a Great Coach!! Her youthful enthusiasm and love for being active outdoors is infectious! Bridget was always ready with creative teaching ideas, games and activities, and social events, that made her groups FUN and inclusive for all the participants. And built the great recreational programs we have at Foothills today.
The teens and families in her group and the Foothills club as a whole, will miss Bridget and her passion for Sport For All!! She will still be involved in Nordic Skiing, as Kids Programs coordinator at the UofC Outdoor Center. We hope to see her on the trails, summer or winter.