October 23, 2015 - 4:30 PM
KAMLOOPS - A Sun Peaks charity is giving Kamloops kids who wouldn’t otherwise have an opportunity to hit the slopes a chance to learn how to snowboard.
Partners since 2012, the Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Kamloops and the Bluebird Day Fund out of Sun Peaks launched a mentoring program that matches up experienced snowboarders, or ‘bigs’ with ‘littles’ who are interested in the sport.
“It's a really great program; really rewarding. A lot of parents would not be able to afford to bring their kids up to the hill,” Bluebird president Bryan Lupul says.
Bluebird Day Fund was founded in the memory of Sun Peaks resident Bryn Taylor; a snowboarding enthusiast. The aim of the fund is to provide sport and recreation programs, including to those who are economically disadvantaged.
The mentorship program starts the second weekend in January and runs every second Sunday until the end of March.
Big Brothers Big Sisters provides the kids and Bluebird provides the mentors, the passes, equipment and basically everything needed for up to 15 children to snowboard; even lunch is supplied by Bottoms Bar and Grill in Sun Peaks.
“We even pick up the kids from town and bring them to the hill,” Lupul says, adding the kids arrive at Sun Peaks by 10 a.m. and can board until 3 p.m., although he admits most littles don’t last that long.
Lupul says the program is still looking for mentors.
Angie Seeley would agree with Lupul. She and 12-year-old Katlyn where matched up this past January and have been together ever since.
“We had a lot of fun snowboarding during the winter and did a couple of extra things. We have a lot of common interests,” Seeley says.
She says it’s been exciting to watch Katlyn’s progress as a snowboarder.
“She'd gone out once or twice before. Now that she's getting out more she's going faster figuring out how to ride the mountain," she says.
Seeley was a friend of Bryn Taylor and become involved in the mentorship program both because of him and because as she says, “it’s nice to be able to give back.”
“Not many of those kids have the opportunity to snowboard; it's not a cheap activity,” she says.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015