Ski Fit North Alberta - The Year in Review

    May 12, 2014

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    With spring in the air and winter all wrapped up for another year, Ski Fit North Alberta has been busy airing out boots, zippering up ski bags, and carefully packing away all the gear and equipment.   End-of-season reviews and planning meetings have commenced, along with number crunching, assessments and evaluation of our program and impact here in Alberta.

    The 2013/14 season was a memorable year of ‘firsts’ for SFNA.  With inclusion and equality as two of our guiding principles, SFNA purchased it’s first sit-ski; providing youth with a disability the opportunity to try cross-country skiing and participate in our outreach activities.   We also hosted, for the first-time ever, a hugely successful 5-Nation multi-community ski festival day.  With Kikino school as our base, SFNA joined together with 5 different reserve schools for a day of skiing, activity, cultural sharing, community building and fun.

    In other ‘firsts’ for SFNA, the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games enabled us to pilot our inaugural “Connect-to-an-Olympian” program.  Canadian greats Jesse Cockney, Perianne Jones, Sara Renner and Collette Bourgogne generously volunteered their time and energy to join our kids for ski days, Skype chats and Q & A sessions.  The kids, in return, cherished these encounters and sent home-made cards with good luck wishes to Sochi for their new, favorite Olympians.

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    Continuing to mark up the milestones, SFNA engaged a record 4250 participants (up from 4,000 last year), connected with 3 new communities and assisted numerous schools with starting up their own after-school ski programs.

    All of which is to say…..wow!  That was quite a year.   A year of successful engagement, program implementation, community building and youth empowerment.   With a deep commitment to providing our province’s most vulnerable youth an opportunity to learn, develop and thrive through sport and activity, SFNA continues to grow in reach and impact.

    Participating schools report higher attendance rates, lowered suspension incidents and increased parent and family involvement; our kids report increased feelings of confidence, lessened levels of stress and most importantly, great moments of inspiration and joy.

    There could be no more poignant reminder of why Ski Fit North Alberta matters than these words from one of our students on the year-end questionnaire.

    “What I liked best about ski days was seeing everyone happy.” (Sky)

    Thanks to everyone for another fantastic year with Ski Fit North Alberta - see you next winter!