For the past two years, Arielle Alferez has been a coordinator for the University of Oregon Snow team. The Snow team is a freestyle ski and snowboard team that has weekly trips to Mt. Bachelor to practice and compete.
Arielle grew up in Portland, Oregon and during her freshman year of high school joined the ski team. She had no idea how to ski, but quickly picked it up. From then on Arielle has been obsessed with skiing.
She loves to be outside at the mountain and also stated “I like to go fast.” Arielle feels that at the mountain there is different type of energy and atmosphere that she loves.
As a coordinator, Arielle works alongside five other coordinators to run the Snow team. With over 100 members and weekly trips to Bachelor, it is not done easily. Arielle focuses on the social media, outreach and sponsorship of the team.
The UO Snow team has Facebook, Instagram and a website. However, must interaction with the public takes place on the public Instagram account. Arielle tries to keep the content focused on being at the mountain and “putting as many team faces in post.” The Instagram is used to spread team pride and show other students the good times being had. She also tries to post photos of sponsorship to both keep the sponsors happy and inform the team about it.
Arielle helps to maintain the sponsorships the UO Snow team currently has which includes Berg’s ski shop and Yerba Mate.
When Arielle first became a coordinator for the team, she was the only girl coordinator. She felt she needed to be more involved in the recruitment process of new members because it would show other women that they could join the team.
When discussing gender in skiing, Arielle feels many men will discount her skiing ability before they even see her ski, “I feel that men don’t assume I am decent, when they first meet me.”
For many women feeling include in the ski community can be difficult. Arielle discussed how in many ski movies there is always about 8-12 males and then one or two females. This depicts what is similar to skiing on the mountain. Skiing is a male dominated sport.
Arielle sees the UO Snow team as an anomaly to the norm of women vs. men skiers. The team is made up of more females than males. This could do with the extra publicity and public tabling Arielle did in order to make girls feel more welcomed on the team. As a freshman, when Arielle joined the team it was made up of mainly males, however over the years with Arielle’s help this has changed.
Arielle is a true lover of skiing and believes that anyone can go out to the mountain and enjoy it. She loves to see new female skiers and the potential that brings to the sport.