Alpine Club’s golden year

 | April 24, 2013

Fifty years is a long time for anything. It’s great for scotch but terrible for an itch. For the Sun Peaks Alpine Club, it’s awesome.

Originally called the Tod Mountain Ski Club, it was started in 1962 and has been running strong ever since. At one point it changed to the Kamloops Ski Club because the racers trained a lot during the week at Harper Mountain. In 1997 the name changed to the Sun Peaks Alpine Club and this year is its 50th season as a non-profit ski club. The original cabin was the building that is now the Sun Peaks Hostel and the existing facility was completed in 1998.

We’re in the business of teaching life skills through the sport of ski racing. Our entry level program is the Nancy Greene Ski League (NGSL). The league started in Southern Ontario in 1968, the year that Nancy won the Olympics. After the Olympics, Nancy went to Collingwood, Ont. for a race and met and skied with the winning team from one of the clubs. They gave her an autographed photo of their team — and years later Nancy noticed it was signed by eight-year-old Stephen Podborski! The day Nancy skied with them, of course, she was much better than they were. Twenty-five years later they invited her to a reunion race — this time the only one who was slower than Nancy was on a snowboard! No offense to snowboarders, or to Nancy.

Our Sun Peaks Alpine Club NGSL has been running strong since the beginning and currently has roughly 100 little rippers. They ski for 14 weeks, have a couple camps and finish with the best event for kids on skis, the Hub International Nancy Greene Festival.

This year we’ll have over 500 kids descend on Sun Peaks for two days of fun competition making it the biggest event of its kind in Canada. By the time you read this the event will have come and gone, but the memories it will have created for the kids will last for a long time. The event is all about fun and making new friends. We do that through a bunch of fun events on skis that promote all skiing skills.

Who knows, some of our youngsters could turn out to be our next National Ski Team member, the next Daimion Applegath or Elli Terwiel, or like our many athletes who’ve achieved major successes.

Lots of families have come through the club over the last 50 years and many of you reading this have either been direct members or know people who have been involved. The Club is all about learning how to ski well, making new friends, learning essential life skills and having a great time. We’ve been around for 50 seasons now and plan to be here for 50 more.