As Olympic gold medalist Beckie Scott said in her Endorsement: “What we need now are champions in every community and every school taking up the challenge, promoting and creating opportunities for youth to engage in sport and activity.”
The cross country ski program we are launching in Fort McPherson is a perfect example that can be copied across the North. Shirley Snowshoe is the dynamic Principal at Chief Julius School who is passionate about the well being of her students. Paul Henthorn has coached his own kids at the recreational and competitive levels, grooms the local trails and freely signs out equipment to the youth. He would be happy to coach. 4 time Olympic skiing legend Sharon Firth visits northern communities each year to lead youth thru a wonderful ski demonstration. And thru the Gen7 Aboriginal Role Model Program, we’re raising funds for a Gen7 messenger to serve the Mackenzie Delta area (Inuvik, Tuktoyaktuk, Fort McPherson).
The challenge: The equipment is some 15 years old and limited in quantity. Here’s what we’re doing: Sport Central in Edmonton, who are also providing bikes to many communities such as Maskwacis, will be doing a local donation call for quality used equipment. Just sitting in your garage? Let’s put it to good use. Mike Neary, the Sports Manager with Cross Country Alberta, will inspect the equipment. And for shipping, though not yet official, we’re talking with the donation department of a trucking firm.
Any ideas, fire them my way. Let’s make it happen!
Just a thought…
1) maybe paint the donated bikes, so they are ‘Branded’ Spirit Runner bikes; & include the Spirit Runner URL)
2) when you are completing the ride with members from the local community… Why not let them ride a specially coloured bike… then let them keep it? Sort of like the different coloured jerseys worn by the Tour De France