USA Luge’s primary recruitment event, which is aimed at boys and girls, will be held in Appleton, Wisconsin ©USA Luge

The USA Luge Slider Search, which uses sleds on wheels in the summer to find future national team members and Olympians, has partnered with US Venture.

USA Luge’s primary recruitment event, which is aimed at boys and girls aged between nine and 13, will be held in Appleton, Wisconsin on August 13 and 14.

The clinics will be running daily and each participant is asked to attend one session.

Sochi Olympic bronze medallist and 2009 world champion Erin Hamlin, along with team-mate Tucker West, also a Sochi Olympian and Youth Olympic Games gold medallist, will attend the sessions to help introduce youngsters to their sport.

US Venture focus on the distribution and marketing of energy, automotive and lubricant products.

“We are proud to be a major sponsor of USA Luge and their winning tradition,” said US Venture chief executive, John Schmidt.

“We are pleased to be part of the national Slider Search recruitment opportunity for youth in our community.”

Erin Hamlin was discovered using the Slider Search ©Getty Images
Erin Hamlin was discovered using the Slider Search ©Getty Images

The mission of the grass-roots programme, established in 1985, is to identify, train and qualify young athletes for the USA Luge Junior Development Team.

Over the years, the USA Luge Slider Search has travelled more than 220,000 miles and introduced the sport of luge to more than 20,000 eager young athletes. 

At each series stop, guided by US Olympic and National Team coaches and athletes, participants are taught the basics of riding a luge sled at controlled speeds, including positioning, steering and stopping.

Once these skills are developed, athletes take several runs down a paved luge course on wheel-equipped luge sleds.

Finally, athletes test their physical skills through a battery of fitness tests. 

Those who show promise in the summer programme are invited to try luge on ice at a sanctioned training site. 

The top young athletes from this group are selected for the next year’s development team.

The recruiting programme has had great success in previous years with most of the current US Junior National Team recruited through the USA Luge Slider Search.

Hamlin was identified in a 1999 Slider Search, while Brian Martin, a 1998 Olympic bronze and 2002 Olympic silver medallist, was discovered at an event in 1987.

Eight members from USA Luge's 2010 Olympic team and six athletes on the 2014 US. Olympic Luge Team were also graduates of the Slider Search.