2019 Bill Koch League Leadership Award: Sue Wemyss of Great Glen BKL

NENSA is excited to present this year’s Bill Koch League Leadership Award to Sue Wemyss of Great Glen BKL!

Sue truly embodies the philosophy of the Bill Koch League, which can be summed as “give kids the opportunity to have fun while learning to how to cross country ski.” It is a simple mantra, but one that serves as the driving force behind New England’s youth ski community, and NENSA’s approach to ski instruction. Sue is a true torchbearer of this approach to skiing, keeping things fun for the youth skiers of northern New Hampshire while also providing excellent instruction and helping them learn the joy of going fast on skis.

Sue has been involved in Nordic skiing since the early 1980s, when she made the switch from alpine racing while attending Middlebury College. After college Sue was the 1984 National Champion in the 10k and 20k distances, and competed in the 1984 Olympics in Sarajevo.

Sue (front) at the 1985 World Championships in Seefeld, Austria (via Skitrax)

A lifelong skier, Sue draws on years of experience and has kept the spirit of youth skiing alive in the Mountain Washington Valley and beyond. NENSA BKL Committee chair Kate Koch describes Sue as a “wonderful, soft-spoken leader who inspires joy in skiing at Great Glen as well as in the NENSA community through her work with the Bill Koch League,” and goes on to applaud her “years of contributing to cross-country skiing near and far, and adding a new slew of converts to our sport!”

Sue teaching classic technique to Great Glen BKL skiers

Sue knows better than any that Nordic skiing is a lifelong sport, and one that should be accessible for children of all backgrounds and abilities. Her involvement with youth skiing goes beyond overseeing the Great Glen BKL and ski school. Sue also volunteers her time to help with the local Nordic Rocks program at Ed Fenn Elementary school in Gorham, NH. The goal of Nordic Rocks is to expose populations of kids to Nordic Skiing who would not otherwise have access to it, and to help inspire a whole new generation of skiers to love the outdoors.

Lisa McCoy, the event director at Great Glen Trails Outdoor Center and Sue’s coworker, describes Sue’s enthusiasm for Nordic skiing as “simply contagious.”  Lisa tells us that Sue “puts her heart into working with the BKL club here at Great Glen and she is always positive to work with both on and off the snow!”

We could not be happier to award Sue with this year’s Bill Koch League leadership award, and we feel fortunate to have Sue working with our BKL community as Northern New Hampshire’s district chair.

Skiers at Great Glen enjoy a game on skis