April 9 - USA Luge has announced that its Slider Search programme for 2014 will visit four major cities in the coming weeks as it seeks out the next generation of top luge athletes.
Now in its 29th year, the Slider Search programme targets boys and girls aged nine to 13-years-old and is used as a primary tool in searching out and developing the top young lugers in the country.
During a Slider Search clinic, USA Luge coaches and athletes teach youngsters the basics of riding a luge sled, including position, steering and stopping.
The young athletes make several runs down a paved street on wheeled sleds and those who show the most promise at the clinics are invited to train in Lake Placid, New York or Park City, Utah and will be considered for selection to the US junior development luge team.
This year the programme will visit New York City on April 26 and 27, followed by Washington D.C. on May 10 and 11.
It then moves on to Chicago on May 17 and 18 before its final stop in La Canada Flintage, California on May 31 and June 1.
Each day clinics will take place from 9am to 11am, 12pm to 2pm and 3pm to 5pm.
Participants can register for the clinic of their choice and all clinics are free while all participants will receive a free USA Luge t-shirt, courtesy of Pilot Chemical.
"The Slider Search is a key programme for our organisation," said Fred Zimny, recruitment manager for USA Luge and US Olympic Committee Coach of the Year in 2000.
"We look forward to giving enthusiastic youngsters the chance to have fun, experience the sport and perhaps qualify for our junior development team."
The Slider Search initiative is affiliated to the Citi Every Step of the Way programme which is supported by 2009 world champion and Sochi 2014 bronze medal winner Erin Hamlin.
Hamlin is one of only a handful of US lugers to medal at an Olympic Games.
Chris Thorpe and Gordy Sheer, and Mark Grimmette and Brian Martin secured silver and bronze in the doubles events at Nagano 1998.
At Salt Lake City 2002, Grimmette and Martin took the silver medal in the same event while Thorpe partnered Clay Ives to bronze.
Martin and Hamlin are graduates of the Slider Search programme.
For more information on how to register for the 2014 Slider Search programme click here.
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