Adaptive Sports Sun Peaks (ASSP) has hired its first full-time program manager in the hopes of expanding to year-round programming.
Katherine Campbell stepped into the role this summer, having moved to Sun Peaks two years ago from the Lower Mainland where she ran adaptive gymnastics programs. This is her first time working with ASSP.
“I started talking to one of their longtime volunteers last February [saying] that I was really interested in getting involved,” Campbell said. “I’ve kind of hit the ground running, and once I’m up to speed and I get myself through this first winter season … I’m hoping that we can offer some kind of programming this summer.”
Campbell said it has always been ASSP’s goal to offer a range of disciplines year-round. She said summer programming can start small with options like hiking, stand up paddleboarding or campfires, before eventually moving to larger goals like mountain biking and golfing.
“We don’t have to make this something that is really costly,” she said. “It could just be almost an outdoors group to get started, and then kind of go from there.”
Two winters ago, ASSP was unable to run any programming due to the pandemic. Last year lessons could resume, but the non-profit was operating with no program manager. This resulted in volunteers putting in over 7,000 hours of work throughout the season.
These circumstances allowed ASSP to save more money than regular seasons, which means it can now afford to hire Campbell as a year-round staff member.
Campbell said so far she’s been working to plan training for volunteers for the winter, and added ASSP is always looking for more volunteers to sign up.
“Any instructors that can commit to teaching with us 100 hours or more on snow are eligible to be part of our 100 hours club and will get a season’s pass,” Campbell said. “Not everybody that volunteers with us can commit that kind of time. We love any volunteers who can commit a few weekends or whatever time they have.”
She added ASSP is also looking to have more certified volunteers to teach Canadian Ski Instructors Alliance or Canadian Association of Snowboard Instructors courses. Campbell said a strength of ASSP compared to other adaptive snow programs is having these certified instructors as part of the organization.
Anyone who is interested in getting involved can attend the first orientation on Nov. 13 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Hearthstone Lodge. There will also be training on Dec. 4 and from Dec. 9 to 11.
“Those are all mandatory training events for anybody wishing to be a volunteer instructor with us,” Campbell said. “They can attend those training sessions free of charge. And by attending those, if they didn’t end up volunteering with us, they will learn so much and improve their skiing just from doing that.”
Campbell also encourages those with a disability who are interested in skiing or snowboarding to get involved. Drop-in lessons for both residents and visitors will begin on Dec. 19. ASSP also offers five-week-long locals programs from January to March.
“I’m super excited to meet the people that take lessons from us because just hearing from all the different volunteers that I’ve talked to and the testimonials, the impact that it has on people’s lives is just amazing,” Campbell said.
Anyone with questions can contact Campbell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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