The People in Motion organization in Kelowna is celebrating its 25th anniversary with an inaugural Ski-A-Thon on March 3 in conjunction with its invitational Kids In Motion Family Fun Day at Big White Ski Resort.
All downhill skiers, adaptive skiers, snowboarders, cross-country skiers and even snowshoe enthusiasts are invited to participate. Between 75 and 100 are expected.
"We are very excited about bringing together our community supporters, volunteers, participants and Ski-A-Thon registrants to help promote and support inclusion for all persons in our communities," said Louise Abbott, executive director for the Kelowna and District Society for People In Motion.
Proceeds will be used toward adaptive recreational programs such as adaptive skiing, Kids In Motion Family Fun Day, wheelchair basketball, power wheelchair, soccer, adaptive recreational equipment loans program and adaptive transportation program.
For additional information and to register, go to the events page on the website: pimbc.ca.
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Elevation Outdoors, which offers recreational opportunities to challenged youth, has lined up sponsors to deck out one lucky youth per Learn to Shred program at Big White Ski Resort this winter.
The sponsors are Lib Tech, Gnu Snowboards, Rip Curl, ONE Boardshop and a local donor.
"Big White also continues to be a great supporter and sponsor of the program, along with the Central Okanagan Foundation," said Mat Hanson, sponsorship co-ordinator.
The Gala Fundraiser Reason for the Season, at the Eldorado, has also sold out three years in a row.
The Learn to Shred snowboard programs, now in the sixth year, "have taught and inspired more than 120 at-risk and/or underprivileged youth to snowboard and find solace in the mountains," said Hanson.
Elevation Outdoors was founded by Tori Hanson, an ex-national rugby player, and husband Mat, an ex-sponsored snowboarder. The programs run two days per week for four weeks, and make the connection between the challenge of learning to snowboard and the challenge of everyday life.
A Big White professional snowboard instructor teaches the youth basic skills in the first two weeks to safely begin riding while volunteer team leaders guide and mentor them. The last two weeks are spent riding with their team leaders and honing their skills.
At the end of the program, the youth have a graduation day during which they are presented with DVD video footage showing their progression and a swag bag from sponsors.
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The Mudd, Sweat and Tears obstacle course race, Canada's premier 5K and 10K mud run, is at Lake Okanagan Resort on Westside Road north of West Kelowna on May 4.
The killer 10K course has competitors crawling, climbing, swimming, carrying and dragging themselves (and possibly fellow competitors) over a series of military-style obstacles ranging from mud pits and quarter-pipes to steep hill climbs and nine walls.
Competitors age 15 and up will receive a signature MST Race shirt and medal, a cold beverage, and entry into the MST barbecue and post-race celebration. Spectators are welcome. Reservations are now being accepted at muddsweatandtears.com.
"Lake Okanagan Resort was really the logical choice for MST Kelowna," said John Reed of Mudd, Sweat and Tears Canada. "The resort's 300-acre-plus property on the shores of Okanagan Lake provides a great variety of course design options, and the chance to partner with one of the area's top waterfront resorts is really a unique opportunity."
A major component is MST donating a percentage of net profit to the Breakfast Clubs of Canada, a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing services and funding to school breakfast programs across Canada.
"Warning: MST is not for the faint of heart or unprepared. You will get dirty, muddy, scraped up, cold, physically and mentally punished, and may end up smiling continuously," said Reed.
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The parks department of the Central Okanagan Regional District has announced a series of spring programs, including:
- Nature Detectives Spring Break Camps. Registration is underway at the Environmental Education Centre for the Okanagan (EECO) in Mission Creek Regional Park, Springfield and Durnin roads, at $60 per youngster for each of the camp sessions. All camp participants will enjoy a variety of fun indoor and outdoor activities, including hunting who or what has been in the park. Activities for children five to seven years of age run mornings March 12-14 and again March 19 and 21.
- Winter Tracks and Treks. This new outdoor discovery program explores regional parks by foot, bike, poles or snowshoes with a park interpreter at 10 a.m. each Wednesday and Sunday through March 6, with a different park and activity planned for each outing. Go online to regionaldistrict.com/parks or contact EECO staff for specific information about park locations, dates and activities.
- Families in Parks offers free winter activities for the entire family in February, March and April. To register, go to the EECO, email
or phone 250-469-6140.
- Storytime at the EECO is a free, one-hour weekly activity for preschool-age children at 10 a.m. Tuesdays through Feb. 26 at the EECO. Drop-in nature-themed stories and songs are followed by an art or craft project for children three to five years of age and their caregivers.
For more information about any regional parks programs or events, go online to regionaldistrict.com/parks or drop in/call the EECO at 250-469-6140.
J.P. Squire, a.k.a. the Ski Sheriff, is an Okanagan Sunday reporter and an avid outdoors enthusiast. His column appears every weekend.