The Maine Winter Sports Center has a new name to go with its expanded mission. President and CEO Andy Shepard made the announcement at a fundraiser in Portland Thursday evening.

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As of Friday, July 15, the organization will officially be known as the Outdoor Sport Institute to more accurately reflect their year-round, outdoor-based educational model.

The Maine Winter Sports Center was founded in 1999 thanks to funding from the Libra Foundation with a focus on re-establishing skiing as a lifestyle in Maine. The organization built world-class Nordic facilities in Presque Isle and Fort Kent, which have drawn four biathlon World Cup events to Aroostook County. They also conduct training programs around the state in various outdoor sports.

Shepard said in a letter to stakeholders, “Our new focus as an organization is completely dedicated to being a global leader in an outdoor sports education based on empowerment. In addition to our own set of comprehensive programs for elementary school-aged kids all the way through adulthood, we provide education, gear, trail design and curriculum for dozens of other organizations that share our commitment to getting people outdoors.”

You can connect with the Outdoor Sport Institute on their new website, www.outdoorsportinstitute.com, and their new facebook page.