Ski Community Comes Together to Remove Barriers and Increase Participation

Calgary, AB. (March 1, 2024) – Alpine Canada (ACA) and it’s Provincial and Territorial Sport Organizations (PTSOs) have come together with ski resorts and local ski clubs to make the sport more accessible for newcomers, racialized communities, and persons with disabilities. 

14 different initiatives, targeting more than 800 participants through community partnerships in underserved groups across the country, are being implemented to help overcome barriers and to grow the sport. The initiatives have involved both youth and adults, as well as serving coaches, instructors and staff receiving educational opportunities within some of the identified equity deserving groups. 

“These programs will make an impact where it matters most, in communities and on ski hills across Canada,” said Bob Lawrie, Head Coach and Program Director with the Manitoba Alpine Ski Division. “We are excited to work with a number of schools in Manitoba, including Waywayseecappo Community School and the Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre, as well as Accessible Sports Connection Manitoba, and many local champions to help deliver programs that will welcome more people to this wonderful winter sport.  Support like this is also helping us to do the work to develop and pilot an Indigenous Technical Coaching Module for Alpine Skiing in the Community Coaching stream. And we are thankful to the Minister of Sport and Physical Activity for their support of these initiatives and their commitment to Olympic & Paralympic sports in Canada.”

Funding for these programs is possible thanks to support from the Government of Canada. Launched in February by the Honourable Carla Qualtrough, Minister of Sport and Physical Activity, more than $16.7 million in funding was made available through the Community Sport for All Initiative. Through this investment, 39 National Sport Organizations (NSO), including Alpine Canada, are able to give Canadians access to and stay involved in sport in communities from coast to coast to coast.

The Community Sport for All Initiative supports NSOs in establishing more accessible and locally organized sport programs aimed at reducing barriers to participation, particularly among Black, Indigenous and racialized communities as well as 2SLGBTQI+ individuals, persons with disabilities, people with low incomes and newcomers.

Alpine Canada and the PTSOs worked in collaboration with resorts and clubs for them to deliver on the 14 initiatives thanks to the support of the Community Sport for All Initiative. Funding for the programs ranges from just over $5,000 to almost $50,000, with programs like the Become Para Ready having a lasting legacy in communities across Canada.

About Alpine Canada 

Alpine Canada is the governing body for alpine, para-alpine, and ski cross racing in Canada, as well as for Canadian ski coaches, providing education, certification, insurance, and compliance with the coaching code of conduct. With the support of valued corporate partners and donors, along with the Government of Canada, Own the Podium, the Canadian Olympic Committee, and the Coaching Association of Canada, Alpine Canada develops Olympic, Paralympic, World Championship, and World Cup athletes to stimulate visibility, inspiration, and growth in the ski community.


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