By: Austin Stanton
When Ellicottville resident Bella Bacon applied for Momentum Ski Camp’s Spirit of Sarah Scholarship in 2017, she wasn’t very familiar with Canada’s Freestyle scene. 18 months later, Bella is preparing for her second season competing on the Timber Tour and has become a part of the close-knit Freestyle Ontario community.
Bella grew up skiing at Holiday Valley, with her family. She enjoyed freestyle from a young age and joined Holiday Valley’s Freestyle program in 2013.
By the time Bella got to Momentum in 2017 her dad, William, was looking for opportunities for his daughter to take her freestyle career to the next level.
“I was asking where people from Toronto skied, and no one said Holiday Valley, and I’d never heard of Mount St. Louis or Horseshoe,” said William. “So, when we got back from Whistler, I started looking into Horseshoe, saw that there was a water ramp. Then I got on the Freestyle Ontario website, and we got in the car and drove up there.”
Freestyle Ontario was able to connect William and Bella with a drop-in coach for a day, and right away she saw progress.”
“In that one day I learned something new that I had been trying to learn all summer, a cork 7 on trampoline,” said Bella.
The Bacon’s then connected with Freestyle Ontario member club agenda freeski though the club’s Director, Sian Llewellyn, who works as a coach at Momentum in the summer. They signed up for some summer training and a happy marriage was born.
“We went up to Horseshoe and were immediately sold on what we saw happening. Geoff Lovelace (agenda Head Coach) saw her jumping at the ramp and heard about her winning the Spirit of Sarah Scholarship, and invited her to be on agenda,” added William.
For Llewellyn, it was easy to welcome Bella into the fold, because she had gotten to know her at Momentum, and she was happy to bring another female onto the agenda team.
“I knew exactly what kind of skier she was, what her ski level was, and I was excited,” said Llewellyn. “From a female perspective I was happy to get another girl in the sport, it doesn’t matter to me where they’re from, I just want more women skiing.”
With a coach and a team, Bella was ready for a season on the Timber Tour.
“I was so happy to see Bella enjoy herself this year, and I can’t say enough about the we’re seeing in Ontario,” said William. “To top everything off is the families who’ve embraced us. At every Timber Tour someone let us pull our trailer up and park it at their house for the weekend.”
This community, and some awesome competitions, left Bella stoked after her first season on the tour, and she’s ready for another awesome year in 2018-19.
“I like competing at the Timber Tour so much,” said Bella. “Being there with agenda, with everyone there to support me, it was cool to compete somewhere new. I’m super psyched for what is going to happen next year.”