For a number of years now, the Ullr/Maybury team has existed on the foundation and strength of its existing membership, combined from the merger of Ullr and Maybury Teams. At that time, membership in both clubs had significantly decreased and we felt that having one team would create more synergy. The success of this merger was evidenced by our Michigan Cup Team win the following season. We had some nice social parties, trained together and traveled as a group to various racing venues. Our club, at its peak, put together one the best classic ski races on the Michigan Cup circuit (Wilderness Valley Classic).
With individuals refocusing their interests in other sports and many relocating geographically, our membership has decreased significantly. There are many reasons for the continued decline, including the consistent lack of snow over the years. Another reason is the lack of a club leader who is capable of generating interest and enthusiasm for new and existing members. Although most of us are part of the club because we enjoy ski racing, we can and should support our sport in more ways.
As you may be aware, Mike Muha has started a new ski team in Southeastern Michigan appropriately called Nordic Ski Racer, named after the official Michigan Cup website, Nordicskiracer.com. Mike's website has been a huge success and is the best collaborative communication vehicle we have available to our sport. Mike has set up training programs, coordinated clinics and established a network of cross-country skiing links. On any given Saturday, Mike will have a large group skiing together at Kensington or participating in some fun event.
Many of our members are joining Mike's team in order to be part of the camaraderie associated with a well-organized club. As the spokesperson for Ullr/Maybury, I would like to encourage the remaining members of our team to merge with Mike's team. The synergy formed by having one team will enable us to be more competitive with the larger teams. It also allows us to grow our sport by giving new members the opportunity to learn, train and obtain critical information regarding equipment, places to ski, etc.
I have been involved with cross-country skiing for over twenty-five years. My first introduction to the sport was as a member of Ullr. From there I was part of a new club called Maybury. Initially, our teams competed against each other and it was a great rivalry that benefited both clubs. During this time Ullr and Maybury each enjoyed a Michigan Cup Championship.
Time, once again has put us in position of change and it is important for us to react to this change in a way that will benefit our sport and Michigan Cup skiing. I urge all remaining Ullr/Maybury members to embrace this change and be part of a new experience.