Shayne Powell became passionate about snowboarding as soon as he got started.

Local rider given chance through WASP

Shayne Powell's passion for snowboarding grew after he was given a chance to learn through a local affordable ski fund.

Even with a world class resort just a short drive away in Golden’s backyard, skiing and snowboarding could never be mistaken for an affordable sport.

Certainly not for a single mom, and that’s what makes Michelle Powell and her son Shayne’s tale such a feel-good success story.

Shayne, 15, skied a little bit here and there while growing up but decided he wanted to make the switch to snowboarding not long after the family moved to Golden in 2009. Naturally, costs for season passes, equipment and other gear were a significant road block for Michelle as she strived to encourage her son on his way into the sport. That’s where the Whitetooth Affordable Ski Program came into play.

“It’s just been amazing. It’s been something that he has done avidly every year start to finish. Summer is no fun in our house,” Michelle said.

The program, which is run by the Golden & District Community Foundation (with funding from the original sale of the Whitetooth Ski Area) offers lessons, equipment, lift tickets and transportation to Kicking Horse for children and youth from lower income families, depending on a specific family’s needs.

Just under 40 children and youth participated in the program for the 2011-2012 season and another 22 the following year according to the latest data available from GDCF.

Michelle’s application for Shayne was accepted in the winter of 2010 and he has been enrolled ever since.

Shayne took to snowboarding right from the start.

“I guess I just kind of love the cold. It’s like surfing on snow, it was kind of my thing from the beginning,” he said.

It’s not all fun and games, however.

This season, Shayne completed his Canadian Association of Snowboarding Instructors (CASI) level 1 certification to become a snowboarding instructor. The three-day course is designed to allow students to be able to teach beginner snowboard courses.

By next season, Shayne hopes to earn regular employment at the resort.

“I hope to get more instructors certificates and get to level 4 one day,” Shayne said. “I’m going to try very hard to make it (a career).”

For Michelle, it has been rewarding to see her son build up his confidence through sport, even if she shudders at the thought of him flying down the steep terrain at Kicking Horse.

Shayne’s growing passion for snowboarding is something that they both know wouldn’t have been possible without the Whitetooth program.

“I think it’s an amazing program…so many kids see our mountain and now actually have a chance to access their backyard,” Michelle said.

“For him to achieve the level that he’s gotten to, there’s no way that we could have put it together for him (alone).”

 

Just Posted

New Glade ferry enters testing phase

The Glade II will be able to carry heavier loads and will use less greenhouse gases.

Freezing rain warning in effect for B.C. Southern Interior

Environment Canada issued the freezing rain warning for most of the Southern Interior Tuesday morning

Smiles all around as province announces emergency ward funding

$2.1 million to go to much-needed upgrades

As avalanche danger grows, BC heli-skiers exercise caution

Company relies on guides’ decades of experience

Heli-skiing operation “very concerned” by new caribou protection regs

Habitat protection is important, but ‘at what cost?’, asks Nakusp tourism operator.

VIDEO: Orcas put on a show near Hornby Island

Louis Jobodin shares photos and video of his experience

Body discovered in burnt out car near Trail

Police report a body was found in the burnt out trunk of a 1999 Honda Civic

VIDEO: B.C. Lions sign defensive back T.J. Lee to contract for upcoming season

The four-year veteran had a team-high four interceptions and 49 tackles last season with B.C.

How an immigrant to Canada helped Donald Trump prove his mental health

Test that cleared Trump was developed by doctor associated with McGill and Sherbrooke universities

Premier touches on multiple topics ahead of Asia trade trip

Housing and childcare are expected to be the focus of the BC NDP’s first budget in February.

UPDATE: Friends mourn boy, 15, killed in Vancouver shooting

John Horgan: ‘No stone is to be left unturned until we find the perpetrator of this heinous crime’

VIDEO: Explorers uncover Canada’s deepest cave in Fernie

The cave, named Bisaro Anima, was confirmed to have broken the record on New Year’s Day

Vernon to host largest Special Olympics B.C. Winter Games in 2019

Games to be held Feb. 21-23, with more than 800 athletes expected to take part

Ex-BC Liberal staffer focused on ‘favourable’ ethnic communities in scandal: lawyer

Former communications director Brian Bonney’s sentencing hearing for breach of trust is underway

Most Read