The Bluebird Day Fund, a not-for-profit organization created to honour the memory of Sun Peaks’ snowboarder, Bryn Taylor, has been busy this season finding new ways to support and mentor young skiers and riders interested in terrain park sports.
Hoping to make park sports more accessible to young riders and skiers, the Bluebird Day Fund started a gear drive to collect gently used snowboard and ski equipment.
“The gear drive has been really successful,” says Kent (Koach) Thiessen, vice president of the Bluebird Day Fund and owner of Kamloops’ Oronge Board Shop. “There’s definitely a lot of generosity out there, especially from the community in Sun Peaks.”
So far they’ve collected 15 sets of skis, and 12 snowboards along with plenty of ski boots and outerwear.
The gear and clothing is being used to support the fund’s partnership with Big Brothers, Big Sisters providing mentorship, gear and equipment to “littles” interested in skiing and riding at Sun Peaks.
“Right now we’ve got four little brothers/sisters that have signed up for the program to go up with a mentor,” says Thiessen.
This year, the group also introduced the Bluebird Day Park Sessions, a series of eight coaching sessions for young riders just starting out in the park.
Twelve-year-old Jake Bells is one of the little groms excited to be part of the sessions.
“Koach from Oronge told me about it,” he says. “I’ve learned quite a lot already, it’s fun!”
Marlie Marchewka coaches Bells and the other students enrolled in the Bluebird Day Park Sessions.
“I just feel it’s awesome to help the next generation of snowboarders do what they love doing,” grins Marchewka. “I’m having a blast!”
The park sessions focus on safety and etiquette, skills development on the hill and pursuing a healthy active lifestyle.
“We’re getting into how to care for yourself off the mountain by eating right, stretching every day; that’s just as important as the stuff on the hill,” she says.
Getting back as much as she’s giving, Marchewka believes the work of the Bluebird Day Fund is nothing short of inspirational.
“I think what the Bluebird is doing with these camps is really awesome. I am so inspired by these kids, every Sunday is amazing.”
For more information about the Bluebird Day Fund visit www.bluebirddayfund.com