At its October AGM, Adaptive Sports at Sun Peaks (ASSP) saw big changes to its leadership with three long-standing members stepping down from their positions on the Board
The election of three new members and a reshuffle of those re-elected means the five person board looks quite different ahead of a year that promises big growth for the non-profit program and its outreach to those with disabilities.
The newly elected board will bring a new range of skills and “a positive energy to consolidate our mandate and assist in the growth of the program,” said Veronica Connors, the new board secretary.
Veronica is now the longest serving member of the board, with nine years under her belt in different roles. A former nurse, nurse educator and ski instructor, she has split her time between Sun Peaks and Australia for the last ten years with her husband, Neil Connors.
Neil is the new president in his first year on the board, after many years working for ski school and volunteering with ASSP. He initially became involved with the adaptive program in the hopes of “making a difference to people’s lives who otherwise would never experience of the wind in their face as they ski down a mountain,” an impetus that seems especially relevant this year as ASSP addresses the needs of a wider range of disabilities in the program.
Danielle Renaud, new member at large on the board, is a semi-retired autism spectrum disorder (ASD) expert and behaviour and leadership consultant. She sees her expertise having a bigger impact this year than it may have previously.
“There is more emphasis moving forward as they are finding more ASD kids enrolling,” said Renaud. “My role on the board will focus mainly on the training of instructors around how to work with kids with any kind of developmental disability or cognitive impairment.”
Riann Batch is another new addition to the board as vice president. She has a teaching and skills training background and has instructed with ASSP for four years. Batch was part of a contingent of ASSP representatives introduced to adaptive water-skiing this summer in Kamloops, a sport ASSP is looking at introducing into their own program.
Another is Nordic skiing, which Batch suggested could start being offered in 2018-19, once the instructors are trained this season. This growth, in terms of offering more lessons and other sport opportunities, is exciting, though it remains dependent on the support ASSP can receive by way of funds and volunteers, said Leeza Clough. Clough is returning to the board for her second year as treasurer— an apt position for the chartered accountant from Kamloops.
The board works with the support of one full-time employee of ASSP, program manager Anne Nicolson, who is starting her second year.
Together, with such breadth of professional experience between them, the new board stands in good stead for continuing the impressive work of their predecessors, which over the years has “built a sound, professional program of national standing,” said Veronica.