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Winter Starts Now: Holderness Skiers Appear in Latest Warren Miller Film

Greg Kwasnik
Winter hasn’t even begun, but three Holderness skiers are already ripping turns across the country. How? They’re featured in Warren Miller Entertainment’s latest film, “Winter Starts Now.
Three first-year students – Jayna Davis and sisters Henniyah and Helaina Rivers – are featured in the film’s segment about the National Brotherhood of Skiers (NBS), an organization whose mission is to identify, support, and develop athletes of color and increase diversity and inclusion in winter sports.
 
Founded in 1973, the NBS is made up of more than 50 ski clubs across the country, from the Southern Snow Seekers in Atlanta to the Fire & Ice Ski Club in Pasadena, CA. Henniyah, Helaina, and Jayna are all skiers on Team NBS, a youth development program that provides funding and scholarships to up-and-coming skiers of color, with the goal of sending athletes to the Olympics. And all three skiers are new to Holderness this year: Jayna hails from Steamboat Springs, CO, while Henniyah and Helaina live on Long Island and grew up training and racing at Windham Mountain in New York. Their father, Henri Rivers, is president of the NBS.

The Holderness community is incredibly proud of Jayna, Henniyah, and Helaina.

“The Snow Sports and Holderness community are so excited for these three student-athletes to have this amazing opportunity to be a part of a Warren Miller movie,” says Director of Snow Sports Ben Drummond. “Warren Miller has a special way of telling stories and we look forward to this movie to showcase their story.”
 
By appearing in a Warren Miller film, Jayna, Helaina, and Henniyah are in very good company: Holderness alum and two-time World Champion skier Chris Davenport ’89 has appeared in no less than 30 ski films by Warren Miller Entertainment and Matchstick Productions. And in “Winter Starts Now,” they share the screen with skiing pros such as Grete Eliassen, Jonny Moseley, and Marcus Caston. Yet the prospect of appearing in a blockbuster ski film didn’t intimidate the young skiers, who spent several days last winter filming their segment at Snowmass, CO.  “It didn’t really feel like we were being filmed. We didn’t have the pressure of all the cameras,” Helaina says. “It just felt like we were skiing with other people. It wasn’t as scary as realizing that you’re being filmed. You just didn’t think about that.”
 
Now that they’re at Holderness, the trio are focused on becoming the best possible skiers – and students – they can be. All three have ambitious goals for this year and beyond. “I would like to be able to compete in the Olympics,” Helaina says. “That’s my dream goal for skiing, and I would like to go to college to get better at skiing and continue my skiing career.” Whether or not Jayna, Helaina and Henniyah end up skiing in the Olympics, their time at Holderness will undoubtedly improve their game - both on the snow and in the classroom.
 
“I feel like it is preparing us for college and to decide if I want to keep skiing into college and how serious I want to be as an athlete,” Henniyah says of Holderness. “I came from skiing two days a week on the weekend and holidays. Here, I’ll be skiing every day. There will definitely be improvement. I just want to improve my skiing first and then see where that goes.”

To watch Henniyah, Helaina, and Jayna on the big screen, find a live screening of “Winter Starts Now” near you.  (https://warrenmiller.com/film-tour) 
 
 Learn more about the Future of Holderness Snow Sports at our upcoming virtual event! 
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