Page 1

A History of the New Hampshire Coaches Series!

!

!

With the recent passing of Robin Ellison I thought now might be a good time to recognize him as the one person who is most responsible for the NHNC Series races that attract over 700 skiers.!

!

So here it is 24 years since that first race during Christmas vacation on a golf course with hardly any snow.! And each year this series attract more skiers and continues to be an incredible success. So just how did it get off the ground? Well I’m glad you asked.!

!

Before the first series races were held, Plymouth High School hosted what was then the Cheri Walsh Memorial race. This race was used as a qualifier for the EHSC. However there were only about 100 skiers who would participate, as teams and individuals who had no chance of qualifying would not attend.!

!

Robin approached a number of coaches and suggested what he thought would be a way to attract more teams and skiers to a state wide competition. He suggested that we have a ‘B’ race. He further suggested that no school would be required to field an ‘A’ team. There would be awards for both A & B teams and individuals. Robin felt by providing a venue where all the schools had an opportunity to be competitive it might just be the necessary ingredient to attract more participants.!

!

During the spring, summer and fall of 1990 a group of coaches met on a regular basis outlining what it is we wanted to accomplish and ironing out the details of how we would accomplish it. It being the NHHSC Series.! As I recall there was Robing from Hanover, Frank Wright from Conant, Chip Woodbury from Con-Val, Lynn Hardy from Hopkinton Peter Hendel from Holderness, Norm Leblanc and Dick Lyman from Plymouth and myself. !

!

There was much discussion as to how to ensure fairness for individual opportunities for post season qualifications if a school only entered the B race. And there were many other discussions related to the specifics of the series. !

!

What we finally came up with that first year was a 4 race series. The first race was a relay hosted by Concord during Christmas vacation on December 29, 1990. We skied at Plausawa Valley golf course in Pembroke with maybe 2” of snow and we had nearly 200 skiers from about 17 teams, if my memory serves me (and sometimes it doesn’t). !

!

Hopkinton and Hanover and Concord hosted the other three races (again, if my memory serves me). However, we quickly realized that going forward it would be impossible to host 4 races each year and trimmed it to the current format of 2 races for the following year.!

!

Each year brought more participation. And as it is now, it was also used then as the qualifier for the EHSC and a very new event the New England J-2 Championships. Some other time I will write about how the J-2 Championships were conceived.!

!

What started out as a way to attract more skiers to participate in post season qualifying turned into one of the largest Highs School ski events in the country. !

!

Next year will be the 25th year of this event and I can’t think of a better tribute for Robin, who was so instrumental in establishing this series, then to recognize him for his great vision and perseverance. !

!

I would urge the NH Coaches to consider recognizing Robin, by naming the B race in his memory. I can’t state in strong enough terms how important his contributions were in developing and bringing to fruition this wonderful race series. And I can’t think of a more appropriate tribute for someone who brought such passion, commitment and a wonderful vision of inclusion to our ski community.!

!

Profile for Emily Benson

Robin ellison tribute (1)  

Robin ellison tribute (1)  

Advertisement