After two years of COVID-19 restrictions, the Nancy Greene Alpine Classic is back in full swing.
This year’s race will feature four-person ski and snowboard teams competing on a recreational cross course. The event goes from Friday, Jan. 27 to Saturday, Jan. 28 and funds raised will go towards the Sun Peaks Education Society (SPES) and the Royal Inland Hospital Foundation.
2010 Olympian and ski cross gold medalist Ashleigh McIvor will be a guest coach.
Since its inception 26 years ago, the Alpine Classic has supported a number of community causes in Sun Peaks. The event previously helped establish a part-time health clinic in town and, later, a permanent health facility. Fundraisers have also helped the Royal Inland Hospital Foundation as well as the Alpine Ski Club.
By 2016, the Alpine Classic had raised over $500,000 across its events.
Event will support permanent school building
Event volunteer Cora Tataru told SPIN the funds raised for SPES will go towards building the community school. Currently, more than 160 youth in the community are educated in portables at three different locations throughout Sun Peaks.
The new building would include a library and a gymnasium that are accessible to community members, regardless of age.
“Having this brick and mortar school would actually help the whole community because we would have a library that is shared not only for the kids in school, [but] for everyone here and the same with the gymnasium,” Tataru said.
She added that with Sun Peaks’ population growth, there is increasing pressure to create facilities for the growing community. Sun Peaks’ population more than doubled from 2016 to 2021.
“These kinds of facilities are … an important factor for decision making if you choose to move here or not. And as a family considering moving to the community with kids, you’d like to know that somewhere in the future these things will show up,” Tataru said.
She noted that educating youth in Sun Peaks is about more than fostering basic skills.
“[Schooling] is more than just learning how to read. Education is about people meeting, sharing ideas, being creative [and] getting to know each other, and this is what actually builds the community,” Tataru said.
In 2022, the event raised over $40,000. Tataru hopes they can raise even more this year.
Registration open for 2023 event
The 2023 Nancy Greene Alpine Classic kicks off on Jan. 27, when professional skiers and snowboarders will offer training for participants and help them get to know the course, before a pre-race social that evening at the Annex.
The next day, Jan. 28, competitors will face off and can race again for a small fee. That evening, there will be a celebration party and live auction in the Sun Peaks Grand Ballroom. A silent auction is available online.
Registrants must be over 19 years old and teams must have at least one person of a different gender.
Team entry costs $900 for four people and individuals can enter for $225.
Registration is open now and can be found here.