The Williams Lake Cross Country Ski Club has launched a new pilot Ski School program to get students out on the trails this winter.
Robin Dawes, the WLCCSC Ski School co-ordinator, said children from Kindergarten to Grade 7 between GROW and Lake City Secondary’ School’s Outdoor Education program approached the club with interest last year and the WLCCSC agreed to jumpstart the program.
Fundraising began, and through grants from the Canadian Red Cross and Cross Country Canada/Alta Gas, a Ski School was formed to begin at Bull Mountain this winter.
“It’s very exciting,” Dawes said. “We’ve been working hard getting things going and it really seems to be coming together nicely.”
The program will occur during school hours and will provide the chance for approximately 100 students to participate. Each class will take part in three sessions at Bull Mountain where technical skiing skills and fun will be the theme.
Classes will be broken down into groups of six to 10 students with a coach and an assistant.
“The nice thing about this program is it’s going to allow kids right across the community to get out to try skiing,” Dawes said, noting the WLCCSC hopes to expand the program based on interest in the coming years.
While the Canadian Red Cross wished to address the impact of fire and smoke on the population of Williams Lake and surrounding areas, the GROW parent advisory council (PAC) and students took the initiative one step further to acquire funding to purchase ski equipment available for all participants in the program to use.
“Cross Country Canada/Alta Gas provided funding for a compliment of ski equipment and the Williams Lake Cross Country Ski Club matched the contribution,” Dawes said.
“Then with the help from Punky Lake Wilderness Camp Society the WLCCSC was able to secure short-term storage for the equipment while they south funding for permanent storage facilities at Bull Mountain. As a result over 100 students will benefit from this spirit of collective generosity this coming season.”
The WLCCSC is also moving ahead with plans to provide permanent storage for additional equipment that will enable the expansion of the Ski School program across the district.
The WLCCSC asks anyone wishing to get involved as a coach, volunteer or school participant to contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org to join in the growing enthusiasm.
The WLCCSC also thanked the Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society for providing orange coaches jackets for the coming season.
“We’re looking forward to starting with the two schools and it’s fully our intention to expand,” Dawes said. “We encourage any schools interested next year to contact us soon and we can hopefully provide some money to help train teachers or parents from those schools to do some coaching.”