Dear NENSA Community ~
This past week has been a tumultuous one to say the least. We lost a great friend and colleague, Jim Rodrigues a week ago. Jim was a dear friend to so many here in New England, and beyond. He worked for NENSA for many years as an Event Organizer, as well as an FIS Technical Delegate official, Chief of Competition, trail designer, coach, mentor and friend to so many of us. Outside of skiing, Jim was a master builder of rock. I am grateful to have one of his stone birdbaths in my yard. So much disbelief and sadness in his sudden passing. He will be sorely missed. Here is a link to his obituary: https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/ledgertranscript/obituary.aspx?n=james-rodrigues&pid=195706942
NENSA plans to have a proper celebration of Jim and his life, as soon as we are able to gather again as a large community.
This past week also brought unique challenges and hardships to many of our junior athletes, as organizers across the country had to cancel several major competitions in light of the COVID-19 Pandemic. EHS Championships was cancelled outright, our New England JN Team was sent home from Truckee, CA, after only two of our four races, and our EISA NCAA teams were sent home after only one day of racing. Not to mention the cancelation of the WC in Minneapolis. These are huge disappointments for our athletes who have trained hard all year to get to this point in the season. The resilience shown by everyone involved has been truly remarkable. Everyone in the NENSA community has a lot to be proud of!
I hope everyone takes this time to prioritize family, their own health, and the health of everyone in our communities. Please practice social distancing, and follow the recommendations of the CDC and the community in which you live. We all need to be a part of the solution to flatten the curve. We have an amazing ski community, and we will ski again, but for now we must all hunker down and get beyond this virus.
Our staff looks forward to sharing the accomplishments of our New England athletes these past few weeks, and we will highlight them in the upcoming edition of KickZone. We also look forward to celebrating the life and many accomplishments of Jim Rodrigues with a gathering once it is safe to do so. Jim told friends that when it was his time to go, he wanted a party instead of a funeral – complete with a Mariachi Band – so please let us know if you know of one here on the East Coast!
Be well everyone –
Amie W. Smith
Executive Director | New England Nordic Ski Association