$10,000 by January 31st!

Please consider a donation to the Bend Endurance Academy during our Annual Campaign.

We are half way to our Annual Campaign fundraising goal of raising $10,000 by January 31, 2019.

Thanks to everyone who has donated thus far! Your contribution supports quality Climbing, Cycling and Nordic Skiing programs to local junior athletes and their families each year.

Transportation is an important component of what we offer because picking up from school removes an obstacle some parents face when enrolling their children in after school programs and allows our coaches and instructors to better manage program logistics. Best of all, riding together to and from the trails or to and from competitions allows our athletes and coaches to form bonds, get to know one another, and have fun along the way.

We are committed to equity and accessibility.

While we have to set realistic program fees, we won’t let program tuition be a barrier so we offer tuition assistance and scholarships for families in need. That assistance relies on fundraising like our Annual Campaign, and events with our community partners to ensure local families can participate in our programs.

In 2018:

  • Academy vehicles logged over 45,000 miles to provide transportation for program participants from school to the trails, mountains, and climbing destinations as well as to local, regional and national competitions.
  • Our Athletes and Coaches traveled to over 40 Cycling events, 12 Climbing competitions, and at least a dozen Nordic races.
  • We served over 600 Athletes
  • Distributed over $15,000 in Scholarships and Tuition Assistance
  • Provided over 1,000 hours of community service at events

Help us reach our goal of $10,000 before the end of January!

Sandy Visnack, Executive Director
Ann Leitheiser, Development Director
Mike Rougeux, Climbing Program Director
Bill Warburton, Cycling Program Director
Greg Rhodes, Nordic Program Director

Individuals may make tax-deductible donations because we are a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. All of your donations help us provide quality programing! Mail a check or contribute online now:


Thank You!

BendBikeSwap in April

April 26 – 28

Boneyard Cycling Team has gifted this event to BEA and we’re thrilled to make it a great success for everyone looking to sell / buy / swap used bikes and gear!

VOLUNTEERS will be crucial to making this event run smoothly, get in touch with Ann@bendenduranceacademy.org if you’d like to help.

Have a bike you to sell?

Sell it at the BendBikeSwap or donate it to BEA to be sold.

Maintenance Today

Our Server is undergoing an update today until 5PM, March 6, 2019 so enrollment is on hold until completed.

Please check back soon. In the meantime, check out our Vimeo page for some awesome videos of our Teams!


Nordic – nordic@bendenduranceacademy.org

Climbing – Mike@bendenduranceacademy.org

Cycling – Bill@bendenduranceacademy.org

Director – Sandy@bendenduranceacademy.org

Meet Coach Luke Bromley

Luke Bromley

Age 26 from Lander, WY

Nordic Program Director, Bernie Nelson sat down with Coach Luke to see what brought him in to coaching and what he enjoys about working with the athletes. These are his answers:

I started skiing in 7th grade on the junior high team, because my friend told me it was just as fun as downhill skiing and we could still hit jumps.

I raced for my high school team during highschool, and went to junior nationals as part of High Plains division. In College I raced 4 years for Montana State University with Bernie!

Two years after I had graduated college, I was living and working in Lander, and the highschool team was low on coaches, so I volunteered 2 days a week and race weekends. I thought my college racing background could bring a different perspective to the team and help get kid fired up. My job was developing and coaching a youth program in Lander, kind of like a hybrid of our minis and youth. I had been traveling the previous 2 winters before moving to Bend, and not coaching, but had talked to Bernie and Bend sounded like a cool place so I decided to move out here. When I showed up Bernie offered me the job and I loved it!

When I coach, I try to be a motivator. I dont want to be constantly barking out and telling them what to do. I aim to be present and giving tips and examples when needed, but I want the motivation and improvement to come from within each skier, because i think it is more powerful when they are seeing improvement and doing it for themselves, not because a coach told them to do it.

I love agility games, because learning to stay on your feet and developing the balance and reflexes that these games require helps in racing later on, as well a just other aspects of being active in life. 

When you are competing, you strive to be well rested, eat healthy, and often focus on yourself. Coaching, especially race weekends are basically the exact opposite of that. You are focusing on anyone except yourself, sleeping very little, and surviving on coffee! It is the same because we are a team and striving to do the best possible personally and for the team. Skiing and coaching have definitelly been positive. I have met so many good people, had so many good experiences, and it has made me who I am today. I wouldn’t trade it for anything!

I fight fire for the Forest Service. For the past 3 years I have been a sawyer on the Boise Hotshot Crew. We are a crew of twenty people that go all over the country fighting wildfires.

I will ski in one form or another as long as I can walk, and as long as I can keep passing on the knowledge and skills I got from the great coaches I was lucky enough to ski with when I was younger, I will try to keep doing the same, so they can hopefully benefit from skiing as much as I did.

2018 Cyclocross Nationals

Our trip to Cyclocross Nationals is always a very big learning experience for all of the Riders and they take away important lessons from their experience that helps them define what they want out of the following season.

This year, we had 16 athletes from our Academy team, but we met former athletes & coaches, saw old friends, met new friends and spent five days learning every nook and cranny of that race course together. We’ll be publishing a lengthy video soon, but here are a few photos from the trip.

Special thanks to all of the people who helped us with this trip!

  • Bart Bowen and everyone who donated to the CXmas Fund
  • Deschutes Brewery Team for their donation
  • Erik Tonkin and Team S&M for hosting the practice race
  • Molly Cameron with PointS Racing
  • Steven Beardsley from PDX Devo
  • Sam Vickery and the Durango Devo Crew
  • Coaches Marcel Russenberger, Matt Fox, with help from Deschutes Brewery Team members James Williams and Rodney Trepess
  • The Academy Parents who traveled all that way to cheer the team and support their riders
  • Coaches Joanne Eastwood, Rex Shepard and Cody Peterson who helped the team through the regular season
  • Crows Feet Commons, WebCyclery, Sunnyside, Gear Fix and Hutch’s all helped fix-up our loaner bikes, supplied parts for the team and service for the racers

Memorial for David Kurtz

Dear Academy Families,

We have lost a special member of the Bend community and the BEA Family. We are sorry to report that David Kurtz, Nordic skier, Coach, and friend, has passed away. Kurtz had a such a positive impact on countless athletes and coaches at the Academy; he was with us from the very beginning and he will be remembered as someone who created amazing connections with kids, who encouraged them to try hard and give their best. He is missed.

Any loss, especially an unexpected one, can affect children in different ways. If your child knew Kurtz, we encourage you to speak about what he or she may have learned from him and the type of qualities he had that others admired.

We also have resources to help you discuss difficult subjects with your child and to cope with loss. If you would like to be connected with those resources or if we can help in any way, please feel free to contact me directly at Sandy@bendenduranceacademy.org or call our office at 541.904.5048.

David’s family is planning a memorial on January 20th and they have extended an invitation to all of us at the Academy.

On behalf of all the entire Coaching and Admin staff, we thank Kurtz for all of his dedication and support to our athletes over the years.


Sandy Visnack

Bend Endurance Academy
Executive Director


  • Rosary for David will be at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 120 S. Main, Prineville, at 7 PM Friday, Jan. 19.
  • Funeral Mass will be at Historic St. Francis Church, 494 NW Lava Rd,  Downtown Bend, at 10 AM, Saturday, Jan. 20.
  • Reception and Celebration will be at the Bend Church First United Methodist Church, 680 NW Bond St, Bend, at Noon, Jan 20.

You may view David’s obituary and sign the guest book at BairdFH.com.

David Kurtz Memorial Scholarship Fund

  • His family have established a scholarship fund through the Bend Endurance Academy that will support Nordic athletes who need financial assistance. More details on how to donate to the fund and how to apply to receive funds will be available soon.
  • Contact Sandy Visnack to learn more: Sandy@bendenduranceacademy.org

David helped Coach Bills kids to setup their workbench.

Kurtz leading the skiers through another fun day of exploring in the woods on skis.

Bend Endurance Academy Announces New Executive Director

Sandy Visnack of Bend, Oregon has been named the next Executive Director of the Bend Endurance Academy (BEA) by the organization’s governing board. Ms. Visnack will assume this new role on January 8, 2018.

“We are excited to announce the selection of Sandy Visnack to be our next Executive Director,” says Ellen Grover, BEA Board President. “In 2018, as BEA celebrates its 9th year serving youth in Central Oregon, we need a leader who has the vision, skills, and capacity to strategically guide our organization forward. Our board has great confidence that Sandy will build upon the strong foundation BEA has created, further engage youth and families in our programs, and develop rich and meaningful relationships with our donors, sponsors and nonprofit partners.”

Ms. Visnack’s background uniquely positions her to assume the role of Executive Director. With significant experience working with youth and families, in senior management roles in the education and non-profit sectors, and a passion for outdoor sports, Visnack will advance the organization’s current strategic priorities and guide BEA’s future contributions to serving youth, maintaining high-quality programs, and promoting active, healthy lifestyles. Visnack shared, “I am honored to serve the BEA community and support the program directors, coaches and staff. BEA has a rich history of offering quality programs and activities for youth of all ages and abilities and is poised to grow in even more in upcoming years. I want to help BEA strengthen the framework of the organization and develop the resources necessary to meet the needs of our growing community in Bend and across Central Oregon. Joining this group of highly skilled, thoughtful, and hardworking people is an opportunity I could not pass up.”

Visnack has a Master in Nonprofit Management degree from Regis University in Denver, Colorado, and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Vermont. She also has over 20 years of experience working in education and in the nonprofit sectors. Past roles have included the Coordinator of Residence Life at Colorado Mountain College, Executive Director of Grand Futures Prevention Coalition, Development Director for Big Brothers Big Sisters, as well as Grant Writer and Director of Communication for NeighborImpact.

For more information about the Bend Endurance Academy or the selection of Sandy Visnack as Executive Director, please contact Ellen Grover at 541-410-3231 or via email at ellengrover@bendenduranceacademy.org. To contact Ms. Visnack directly, email sandy@bendenduranceacademy.org.

About Bend Endurance Academy: Since founded in 2009, Bend Endurance Academy (BEA) has grown from humble beginnings to serving more than 1000 youth in 2017. BEA is a public benefit 501(c)(3) that organizes and operates endurance activity programs in Central Oregon, concentrating in three core disciplines: Nordic Skiing, Cycling & Climbing.

Mission: The Bend Endurance Academy promotes healthy living through active, outdoor experiences. All programs offered emphasize teamwork, personal growth, and community responsibility.

Vision: A world with active, inspired and more engaged people.



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