Why Huck It?

Coalition of Experts Present at Art Haus on Tahoe’s High Risk Sports Climate
(Tahoe City, CA) –In response to Tahoe’s growing culture of high risk sports, and the subsequent life altering injuries and fatalities, a coalition of local experts including sports psychologists, ski coaches, Olympic athletes, and other community leaders will host a two-hour presentation at the Tahoe Art Haus and Cinema on Monday, December 14th from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.  Titled “Why the Huck?” the goal of the evening is to give parents the tools to help their children navigate the high-risk action sports climate and address issues that could improve their overall quality of life.  Cost to attendees is free. However, seats are limited and must be reserved in advance at www.tahoearthaus.com.
 We recently formed this coalition after a steady drumbeat of tragedies have placed too heavy a weight on what it seems our small community can shoulder,” said Dr. Robb Gaffney.  “Our goal is to learn from our past and ultimately help shape a sound future for our children and our families so they make strong, independent choices that lead to life-long contributions and an enduring sense of personal fulfillment in a community where they feel safe.” 
As part of the evening, Dr. Robb Gaffney, psychiatrist and author of the book “Squallywood” will present for a half hour on the psychology of risk and how to effectively guide your children through the current high risk climate.  Supplementing this will be 5-minute insights provided by coalition members including US Ski Team athlete and Squaw ski coach John Walsh, heads of Squaw’s Big Mountain and Freestyle Ski Teams Alenka Vrecek and Jason Dobbs, and local fire chief Alan Whisler.  Former Squaw Valley Institute Executive Director Renee Koijane will offer a brief introduction, and Carolyn Hamilton, creator of SVI Kids, will share personal thoughts. Also guest speaking is World Cup champion Tamara McKinney.  And, local Tahoe kids will showcase personal insights in a 5-minute video. Wrapping up these various perspectives will be a 45-minute moderated panel discussion with Q&A.
Coalition member John Walsh added, “Ideally this coalition expands, proliferates, makes an impact, and goes away.  Dissolving this coalition will be an ironic victory, as it will mean Tahoe’s culture is on steady ground and collectively we are thriving in our personal pursuits.”
More formally called the “GBC” (or Go Bigger Coalition), this group formed organically with the goals of giving parents and children the tools, knowledge and inspiration to make well informed decisions not only about how they participate in sports but what is most meaningful to them. The group aims to offer insights into the often sexy and sometimes subtle outside influences that sway us toward disproportionally high-risk situations.  Its mantra, “Go Bigger, Tahoe” is nothing short of an invitation to re-examine and re-create our mountain culture. It asks adults and youth alike to dig deeper, explore further and aim higher in their expectations of themselves and each other.  Go Bigger sees all youth as empowered with the ability to take their ambitions and talents beyond the ultra-high risk platform into a broader realm of self-fulfillment and community contribution.


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