The Sunshine Ski Club was started in the 1970-1971 ski season by Denis Smith (the first volunteer head coach and a former racer), and Bob Hann (owner of the Abominable Ski Shop), who wanted to get three of his boys into a racing program.
Bob was the first President and Cliff White (the then owner of Sunshine Village) was the first Vice-President. Jerry Johnston (the Sunshine Ski School director) supplied two coaches from the ski school – Marilyn Kelly Howell and Jim Suttil – to help Denis. In the first year, there were 22 racers, each paying $30.
The purpose of the Club was to “develop racers with good attitudes.” Parents had to be involved if their children were in the program. They helped at races or, if they didn’t ski, made lunches.
In 1976, a Nancy Greene program was started. During the 1983-1984 season, the race program grew to 53 racers, some of whom moved up to either the Alberta Ski Team or the Canadian National Ski Team.
Traditional races hosted by the Sunshine Ski & Snowboard Club include the Sunshine Nancy Greene Invitational, started in 1984 by Claudio Berto, and the Club Championships, started by Brett Titus in 1985.
Due to growth and increasing program specialization, the original club has now split into two separate but affiliated clubs:
- Sunshine Speedsters Ski Club – offers various levels of Nancy Greene Ski League Program
- Sunshine Alpine Racers Club – offers Kinder and FIS level alpine race programs
The two clubs share some resources and personnel.