Now in its 11th year, the Local Kids program was built out of the demand for an affordable ski school for children in the community.
“It’s a great program for the local community,” says Vincent Lafontaine Sun Peaks Resort’s sports director, noting that the group lessons make learning to ski less expensive than private instruction.
“It’s a really good value for the price they pay,” says Lafontaine. The program has grown from 20 students in the first year to over 140 students expected this year in large part due to the growth of the family population in the area.
Starting Sunday, Jan. 8 four and five year olds can enjoy two hours of group lessons for 10 weeks for $185, plus HST. A second program for six to 12 year olds is also offered for the same price over the same time frame.
Barb Kupferschmidt Linder’s children were amongst the first to benefit from the Local Kids program when it first began.
“In a group like that, it’s more of a fun atmosphere, rather than feeling like it’s a lesson,” says Kupferschmidt Linder.
Local Kids commits the same instructor to each group of students throughout the program, limiting the student to instructor ratio to eight to one. By having a consistent instructor throughout the program, students’ progress is easily tracked and areas for improvement are quickly identified.
“They have some great instructors,” says Kuperschmidt Linder. “It’s a great program to get them in on something weekly. They meet new friends and it’s another option to the race program.”
With instruction starting for kids as young as four, Local Kids aims to create ski fans for life with many students going on to the Alpine Club to further hone their skills.
“Our goal really is to get them started and keep them around skiing or snowboarding. They become fans and they love the sport and being in the mountains,” remarks Lafontaine.