Konnor Ralph taking top honors in rail jam at the 2017 USASA Nationals
The USASA Foundation sat down with Brendon and Konnor Ralph, two of the 29 athletes who were awarded the 2017 Chuck Allen Scholarship, to hear about the importance and honor of receiving the Chuck Allen Scholarship. Chuck Allen, founder of USASA, started this scholarship fund to support athletes who showed a commitment to community, good grades, participation in their chosen forms of education and a strong commitment to USASA and their local USASA series. We’re so proud of all of our recipients and are wonderful examples of USASA athletes who personify the codes of excellence, respect and fun.
Why is being a recipient of the Chuck Allen Scholarship important to you and your freestyle skiing pursuits?
Receiving the scholarships is an honor! The scholarship committee awarded these to us based on what they read in our applications. Receiving the Chuck Allen Scholarship provides us feedback that our hard work in school, our positive attitudes, our efforts to be kind to others and our goal to become even better freestyle skiers is noticed and appreciated by others.
What are you excited to do with this scholarship?
Our parents sacrifice in order to allow us to freestyle ski. We are so grateful for the time they commit getting us to competitions, all the money they spend on car expenses, lodging, meals and ski equipment, and definitely for their emotional support and encouragement!
Our scholarship awards will go toward Windells ski camp this summer. This money, on top of what we both earned through our paid jobs, makes Windells possible. Without any coaching opportunities where we live, we merely rely on each other for guidance and coaching.The summer camp opportunity allows us to receive great direction, guidance and support from an actual coach. We are really excited about being able to go!
Brendon Ralph during the 2017 USASA Nationals at Copper Mountain, CO
How has USASA positively affected you life?
USASA competitions and being a freestyle skier is a major source of joy to us! It’s challenging and super rewarding. When we aren’t skiing we are dreaming about skiing!
Through USASA competitions we have been able to travel and compete in hills across the Inland Northwest were we never would have gone otherwise. We have met a ton of new friends from all over who love skiing as much as we do and also some really supportive adults. USASA has been an incredible experience.